Diversity Matters on International Women’s Day
Today is International Women’s Day, a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. We are running our new campaign, Diversity Matters, throughout March 2022 to raise awareness and to challenge the discrimination women face in the workplace. The theme of International Women’s Day this year is #BreakTheBias.
Our free workplace advice line is open to employees and employers who are concerned about sex discrimination at work, and runs every Tuesday and Thursday throughout March from 3.30pm – 5.30pm.
Issues such as unequal pay and pregnancy and maternity discrimination are still an issue for many women at work. A 2019 study by the IFS found that the average working-age woman in the UK earned 40% less than her male counterpart, with inequalities in earnings increasing vastly after parenthood. The same study found that 40% of men and women in the UK believe that “a woman should stay at home when she has children under school age”. This highlights what a long way we have to go to achieve sex equality at work.
Our campaign highlights other aspects of sex discrimination that have historically been ignored. Discrimination when women are going through the menopause can be due to sex, age, or disability and this is only just starting to be discussed in an employment context.
Few employers take steps to support women who are experiencing menopause symptoms. A study carried out by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development in 2019 suggests that nearly a million women left their jobs because of menopausal symptoms and a lack of support from their employer.
We are a campaigning law firm and we strive to educate employers on best practice as well as fighting for women’s rights in the workplace. Cate Searle and I founded Martin Searle Solicitors in 2004, we are an all-female directorate and 86% of our staff are women.
Diversity Matters includes two free webinars on how to achieve sex equality in the workplace – the first is on Thursday 24 March and is aimed at employers. Our second webinar is for employee advisers and trade union representatives and takes place on Thursday 31 March. Our free workplace advice line is open to employees and employers who are concerned about sex discrimination at work, and runs every Tuesday and Thursday throughout March from 3.30pm – 5.30pm.
We hope that Diversity Matters will contribute towards Breaking the Bias. Please tell your colleagues and friends so we can make sure that sex discrimination becomes a thing of the past.