Female employment rate all time high
According to recent findings by the Office for National Statistic (ONS), UK wages grew an average of 1.4% in real terms in the three months to May. But there is more good news, as female employment is now at its joint highest level ever, with some studies suggesting that the rate of females working and being available to work is growing nine times faster than men. This is beneficial for everyone in employment because as the rate of women in employment increases, wages across the entire workforce also increase. This could be attributed to increased productivity and increased skill levels across industries.
Sectors which see a high percentage of women workers including caring, healthcare, education and human resources, all report skills shortages creating more prospects for the unemployed. These areas also often provide more part-time working opportunities which are attractive to women who require employment that fits around childcare needs. The link between part-time work and women is declining however, as gender roles become less binary and partnerships are seeing a more even distribution of childcare responsibilities. With 1 in 8 men now in part time work, as opposed to 1 in 12 at the turn of the century, the image of the male as the main breadwinner of a family is clearly in its final stages.
The latest labour market figures also reflect the growth in support and encouragement for women to return to work after having children, through additional childcare availability, leave structures and benefits incentives. The change in 2015 which allowed parental leave after the birth or adoption of a child to be shared between both parents has led to more fathers taking care of new babies while the mother returns to work. Parental leave of up to 12 months is in addition to the 2 weeks statutory paternity leave already afforded to new fathers, and this flexibility is a step in the right direction for equality.
Many companies have committed to increasing gender equality in their workforces, notably business behemoth Facebook recently announced that it aims to nearly double its number of women employees within the next five years, to 50%.
This is a wise move, as a recent study found that in companies with no female leaders, a rise to 30% females at c-suite level corresponded to a 15% increase in net revenue.
Striving toward gender equality within your workforce increases productivity and profitability, and by providing an engaging and supportive environment for women workers you are contributing to the welcome changes within the global labour market. Here at Security Watchdog we are always looking for great new people to join our team. If you are looking for a career in this vibrant and interesting industry then please apply below.