Health and social work account for 21%* of all jobs held by women in the UK (September 2022). In fact, 77%* of jobs in these fields are held by women, and this is replicated within our own organisation where 83% of our team are female.
At ABC we recognise the incredible contribution that women make to our workforce and we view it as our responsibility to create an environment that goes beyond equality to deliver equity for women at work.
During the past two years we have learned so much about equity from two brilliant women within our own organisation. Our two Equity Development Managers have taught us how we must approach everyone’s circumstances differently to ensure the same opportunities for all.
Therefore a work environment that provides equity for women needs to consider their individual needs and not think that one size fits all. That is why we aim to be as flexible as is possible in accommodating how people want to work, why we encourage people to bring their ‘whole selves’ (and their dogs / kids / cats / chickens) to work and why we focus on including everyone.
From our menopause policy to the Time to Test initiative to investing in developing our female leaders, we have lots of practical examples of what we are doing but we know there is more to do. We’ll be focussing on benefits and pay in our business plan for this year to ensure that we’re able to recruit and retain future and current parents who are such a key part of our workforce.
We also want to support women to create the health they know they need in their communities. We continue to champion Growing Health Together (led by a lot of fantastic women) and my scarf knitted by Eileen in the Womens’ Group that meets at Horley Health Hub has to be better than any CEO lanyard.
At the start of this week I was so proud to hear Zabian, one of our Inclusion Champions, leading a session on how we can ensure we are providing equity at work. Each champion is focused on promoting a diverse and tolerant workforce and sharing differing lived experiences. I am really confident that if we listen to our Champions, we will do a better job in making our workplace as inclusive as it can be and know that will make it a very successful place to be.
We know that we still have much to achieve together, but just as the theme for IWD suggests, we are here to #EmbraceEquity by understanding what is needed and being open to change.
Chief Executive, Alliance for Better Care
* Women and the UK Economy (House of Commons Library) Research Briefing – Isabel Buchanan, Alison Pratt, Brigid Francis-Devine, March 2023