Westminster Business Forum: Women in the workplace - returnships, intersectionality and reassessing the gender pay gap

| 11 December 2019 | 8:30am - 1:00pm
Central London
Hosted by: 
Westminster Business Forum

This seminar will focus on next steps for policy and organisational practice in breaking down barriers for women looking to enter or re-enter the workplace, and in closing the gender pay gap.

It will be an opportunity to consider the progress made regarding increased female representation at board level, following the expected publication of the fourth annual report of the Hampton-Alexander Review.

It also comes as the Government Equalities Office sets out a roadmap to tackle gender inequalities and support women to balance caring responsibilities with a career. The GEO is broadening its focus - beyond ‘big business’ and senior executive positions - to support marginalised women, with £500,000 of government funding for returnship programmes for those who are vulnerable.

Delegates will examine the practicalities of an intersectional approach which takes into account the multiple or overlapping barriers that may be facing women in a wider variety of workplaces, along with the implementation and eight key challenges of the roadmap.

The discussion will be informed by examples of best practice from businesses, as well as the recent Collaborating with Men report produced by Murray Edwards College, University of Cambridge, which found that 74% of female employees believe their workplace culture makes it more challenging for women to advance.

Further discussion is expected on the recent government and industry initiatives to break down barriers for women looking to enter, or re-enter, the workplace - including the increased use of returnship programmes as well as the spread of online mentoring and network creation.

In light of the government’s ongoing commitment of £1.5m to the Returners Fund, aimed at helping people with caring responsibilities return to work, delegates will discuss areas and priorities for investment.

It follows the aforementioned government announcement of funding allocated to seven innovative programmes aimed at helping marginalised women return to work which will provide refresher courses, training and qualifications. A further £1m is expected to be awarded soon to help people with caring responsibilities return to work, and delegates will discuss areas and priorities for investment.