Statistics show that far more women than men have part-time or casual work. In fact, in every age group, less than 50% of women are in full-time employment. This is significantly lower than the figures for men.
In this blog, we want to discuss why this might be. We also want to look at how women can be supported in employment so that they do have equal opportunities.
Societally, women are still expected to take on more childcare responsibilities than men. More women take part-time jobs than men largely because they need more hours in the week to look after their babies and children. There is still a widespread cultural norm that it is the woman’s role to do this in a household.
Parental leave after a child’s birth is also still swayed in the mother’s favour. Men can receive very little paternity leave in comparison to women. This means that even when there is less social bias in a household, it is often easier for a woman to take a part-time, flexible, or casual job as the father of the child(ren) needs a full-time job to make up for maternity leave.
Social Stigma and Bias
Women are still hired and promoted less due to their gender. Often, recruitment panels see women as potential “pregnancy risks”. Due to the fact they could potentially need maternity leave at some point in the future, some employers allow this fact to overtake the women’s skills, experience, and knowledge. Men are still employed more frequently, especially for full-time and higher-level positions, as they won’t take maternity leave.
Gender bias still runs deeply through the world of recruitment and employment. While we might be fooled into thinking that things are equal in our modern day, this isn’t the case.
You can read more about gender bias on our site.
Menstrual Health and Menopause Misunderstandings
Women’s menstrual health is still not treated fairly in the workplace. Menstrual health and menopause are very influential parts of a woman’s life. They can affect a woman’s life and well-being in significant ways. However, they are both still largely misunderstood and misrepresented at work.
Both of these aspects of women’s health can cause increased absences and the need for reasonable adjustments at work for women. Some employers are not willing to offer the support and flexibility that would help with this. As such, some employers employ women less because of these issues and/or they dismiss female employees from work too easily.
Due to this, some women feel that they need to take part-time, flexible, and casual roles to manage their health. Without the right support in full-time employment, some women feel that they are physically unable to work full-time.
What Employers Can Do to Support Women at Work
Employers can help to increase the number of women in full-time employment. They can do so in multiple ways, such as:
- Offering flexible working hours that allow women to balance childcare and full-time work hours
- Offering remote contracts that allow women to work full-time from home
- Understanding women’s issues and putting relevant reasonable adjustments in place
- Having a diverse recruitment panel that ensures women are hired appropriately and fairly
- Becoming an inclusive employer
At Aspiring to Include, we can help employers become inclusive. You can look at our range of resources on women’s issues in employment and educate yourself on critical matters. You can also avail of our services for employers to become as equal and diversity-positive as possible.
Ultimately, we can help employers connect with a diverse pool of candidates through our resources, services, and the inclusive job board.
The more inclusive employers can be, the better employment experience women across the U.K. will have.
Find Inclusive and Flexible Jobs with Aspiring to Include
Women looking for the right job opportunity can also rely on us.
At Aspiring to Include we have an inclusive job board where women can find the best jobs for them. We post jobs from equal, inclusive, and diverse employers. Such job opportunities can help women to find the best working environments possible without bias and unnecessary exclusion.