Businesses must first commit to change and taking a hard look at their current environment. Diversity should be seen as an asset, not an obstacle or something that’s not worth acknowledging. The ranking has led to calls from employment experts for tougher rules tackling discrimination in the workplace, and for businesses to offer more flexible working opportunities and be more proactive in addressing gender inequality. The result – The Times Top 50 Employers for Women – is the country’s most high-profile and well-established gender equality listing, and winning a place on it is evidence of an organisation’s genuine commitment to a better working world for all. “We need a strategy for gender equality that addresses intersectional inequality, recognising that women of colour are doubly disadvantaged, tackles the underlying causes of the gap and removes the barriers to women’s economic and political participation,” she said. Source: UK VC and Female Founders report, 2019. Source: gov.uk, 2019, The same government data shows that the pay gap persists in all 20 sectors of the economy, with none paying women more than men on average. Is there a difference? It would be a pity if the progress made towards gender equality in the workplace became another victim of coronavirus. Are there any obvious issues? Technically, yes, but for a workplace to be truly equal, it must also remember diversity. Different countries design laws and definitions to prevent discrimination. Businesses also discriminate if they deny compensation or benefits based on traits, and if they exclude certain people during recruitment and promotions. As an example, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission says that “it is illegal to discriminate against a job applicant or an employer because of the person’s race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, gender identity, and sexual orientation), national origin, age (40 or older), disability, or genetic information.” The Commission goes on to say that it’s also illegal to retaliate against an employee who speaks out about discrimination, files a charge, or participates in an investigation of lawsuit about discrimination. Within the workplace, equality is a commitment to self-reflection and change. For years, the workplace has served as a battleground for many social justice issues such as the gender pay gap, racial discrimination, and discrimination based on sexual orientation. Equality is more than just a lack of discrimination based on traits like sexuality, gender, and race. The FTSE 250 is even further behind, with just five women CEOs. Get more HR and employment law news like this delivered straight to your inbox every day – sign up to People Management’s PM Daily newsletter. The Times Top 50 Employers for Women is here – find out if your organisation has made the grade. Source: jrf.org.uk, 2018, Thirty-nine per cent of Pakistani women and 29 per cent of Black African-Caribbean women said they had experienced bullying and harassment from managers in the past two years, compared to 14 per cent of white women. True equality embraces diversity as much as it stands against discrimination. If you don’t support those women, then they won’t be able to make a difference in the organization. Diversity acknowledges peoples’ differences, so instead of being ignored or used as a justification for discrimination, the differences are celebrated. Workplaces that value diversity understand that a variety of backgrounds, experiences, and skills improve work teams and business. Source: gov.uk, 2019, Just 48 per cent of employers provided an action plan last year showing how they will address the gender pay issue in their business, according to the government estimates. No employee should ever feel afraid of facing retaliation for a complaint. In the world of shifting demographics, its important that we continue with this drive to achieve gender equality in the workplace. The website offers itself as a place for people to keep updated on the gender pay gap issue. “To ensure we see this long-term change, we need to be championing women in senior positions, showcasing fantastic role models for future generations and ensuring that women feel that they belong in leadership positions. Discrimination takes many forms, including, but not limited to, discrimination based on traits such as: Gender, Sexual orientation, Race, Age, Physical and mental disabilities, Pregnancy and Religious beliefs. When there’s a problem with discrimination or equality, it should be addressed with as little conflict as possible. This put it behind a number of rich countries including Germany, New Zealand and Canada, but also behind less developed countries, including the Philippines, Nicaragua and Namibia.