It’s important for your organisation to make progress for gender equality and commit to better inclusion practices. However, it’s not always realistic to make big changes.
Circumstances beyond your control and lack of expertise may mean it's more viable to introduce practices which are not resource intensive but still show a clear devotion to gender equality and inclusion.
We’ve compiled a short list of easily implemented tips which you can adopt and practice both digitally and with minimum impact on your internal teams and resources.
Use gender neutral language
Consider adopting gender neutral language alternatives where possible, such as; 'To whom it may concern' where you may use 'Dear Sirs'.
Although a relatively small step for gender equality, to clients, colleagues and organisations it shows a thorough dedication to inclusion.
Prioritise work/life balance
This is not just beneficial for gender inclusion; it also enables much needed flexibility for a wide range of people.
Many women require versatility in both their hours and locations, and during recruitment, will actively seek out organisations who prioritise it. Not only will embracing flexible working benefit your recruitment cycles by attracting a diverse talent pool, it’ll also boost staff morale and productivity and reduce absenteeism and employee turnover.
Create a safe environment
All employees, regardless of any characteristic, have the right to feel safe at work.
The 2018 report from the International Bar Association found that one in two female respondents have been bullied in the workplace and one in three have experienced sexual harassment.
It’s imperative that all staff know that behaviour of this kind is not acceptable. Policies which detail this should be readily accessible and frequently reviewed to ensure they evolve alongside your workforce. Raising awareness, establishing dialogue and providing training are easy ways to proactively mitigate any issues.
Visit the Equality and Human Rights Commission website for detailed guidance on sexual harassment in the workplace.
Fair access to opportunities
There’s a common issue faced by women within the legal sector progressing to senior roles within organisations. Ensuring all employees have the same opportunity to succeed is a key component to equality.
Mentoring is a simple way to allow for upskilling and professional development and should be encouraged at all levels within your organisation. Mentor matching should be based on expertise and skill set, rather than relying on same-sex pairing.
Read our report on women in leadership in law for more information.
You can also sign up to the Women in Law Pledge.
The Pledge encourages you to set long and short term targets for your organisation to create a more equal and inclusive environment and future for gender equality. We’ve recently added an FAQ for the Pledge which may be helpful.
Alternatively, email our diversity and inclusion team if you have any questions.