…and are mothers to the other half.
Mother’s Day falls this month, and here at Love Your Employees we’ve been reflecting on how much women have been in the spotlight this year, 2018 has seen a massive amount of air time on social media, TV and column length about women.
One abuse scandal after another
Harvey Weinstein has become synonymous with the abuse of women (and men) in the film industry which resulted in the liquidation of the Weinstein empire and the #me too campaign showing strength and solidarity for hundreds of people who declared they had been abused too. The next scandal highlighted sexual abuse and harassment in Parliament, where female employees used WhatsApp to alert colleagues to ministers ‘not safe in taxis’ or ‘very handsy in lifts’. Exposure of the problem resulted in a couple of high profile resignations. That scandal was closely followed by another – the Presidents Club charity dinner where 360 guests including bankers, entrepreneurs and celebrities dined at the Dorchester in London with an auction to raise money for good causes. The event was marred by the appalling behaviour towards women from some men which became the focus of media attention. Perhaps this kind of thing is not a surprise to woman who regularly work at corporate events in many industries, but the undercover footage resulted in wide public condemnation and outrage. Sadly, the theme of abuse continued into February 2018 with the emergence of news that some of the poorest most vulnerable women and children on the planet in Haiti and Syria were sexually exploited by the very agencies (such as Oxfam) that were paid to provide aid and support them.
Change starts to gather momentum
One of the astonishing things was the size and scale of the problems and how quickly they escalated and gathered momentum. The power of social media to call out injustice. It is perhaps safe to assume that the problem is not isolated to just the film industry or Westminster. Time will tell whether parliamentary working groups and investigative committees set up in the wake of these sad events will actually make a difference, or whether legislative change such as strengthening the Equalities Act will result in legislative change for all organisations.
Simultaneously at the same time there were a variety of initiatives happened across the country to celebrate 100 years of the suffrage movement. The 100th anniversary of the Representation of the People Act 1918 was marked on 6 February. It was legislation that enabled all men and some women over the age of 30 to vote for the first time and paved the way for universal suffrage 10 years later. It is also the 60th anniversary of the Life Peerages Act 1958, which allowed women to sit in the House of Lords for the first time (April), and the centenary of the Parliament (Qualification of Women) Act 1918, which permitted women over the age of 21 – the same age as for men – to stand for election as an MP (November). Massive change in a relatively short period of time. Similar to the momentum of the suffrage movement the #metoo campaign resulted in greater awareness, condemnation and solidarity which will hopefully lead to a change in behaviour and clear processes for complaints in the film industry. The gender pay deadline of April 2018 compels business to declare what they pay male and female which will hopefully lead to positive change and reduce any disparity going forward.
What are the implications for your business
HR and Employment Law enshrines the equalities act (this includes the rights of women). The law has been in operation for many years yet still in 2018 the terrible events mentioned above happened. What can you do to ensure that this doesn’t happen in your company? How can you protect your brand reputation and ensure it is not tarnished by one wayward employee’s behaviour or an event gone wrong and captured on social media? Well it is time review what happens in your organisation.
- You could ask dedicated questions using a staff survey mechanism to help gauge how women feel they are treated in your company and to identify areas of concern to address.
- You could start or upgrade your diversity training for staff and managers.
- Gender Equality pay disclosure may result in a need for change in your organisation think very carefully about how you communicate.
- Ensure that your HR policies include not only conduct during working hours but also include what is and isn’t acceptable at evening or external events.
- Review and be specific. What constitutes gross misconduct? what behaviour is frowned upon? Be explicit and don’t expect that everyone will have the same standards as you do. Consider how your policies help you dismiss staff if required and how they help you avoid tribunals.
- Make behaviour a communication theme to ensure that people have regular reminders of policies and material isn’t only filed
- Make your complaints process transparent
If you need professional HR specialist and professional support contact us.
Quote – www. Spirtuallythinking.blogpot.com
Author : Love Your Employees