Empowering Women in the Workplace: Inspiring Inclusion Initiatives by Certified Top Employers

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International Women's Day (IWD) will be celebrated worldwide on Friday, the 8th of March. This year's campaign theme, #InspireInclusion, underscores the crucial role of inclusion in achieving gender equality. It calls for action to break down barriers, challenge stereotypes, and create environments where all women are valued and respected. Our latest research, conducted among over 2 300 certified Top Employers worldwide, shows that significant progress has been made for women in the workplace around the world.  

Read More: World Mental Health Day 2023 Q&A with Marie-Soleil Ferland and the Health and Wellbeing Team at CGI Canada

In honour of this day, we can highlight some good news and great initiatives from certified Top Employers: 

Chiesi demonstrates a clear commitment to gender equality 

A commitment to gender equality is demonstrated by nearly all (98%) certified Top Employers 2024. 

A great example of this commitment can be seen at European Top Employer, Chiesi. Of more than 6 500 employees working at the international, research-focused biopharmaceuticals group, 55% are women. We see that this figure climbs even higher in the Research and Development department, where 65% of over 650 researchers are women. 

In 2021, Chiesi embarked on a global challenge to tackle gender disparities within the organisation. Despite already maintaining a low Pay Gap, the Group looked to surpass industry benchmarks by reducing the Gender Pay Gap even further. By 2022, one year ahead of the expected timeline, the organisation achieved its goal of reducing the Gender Pay Gap to below 1%. Chiesi achieved these results through several measures, including two merit pay cycles, a round of pay equity adjustments, a comprehensive review of HR processes, and targeted recruitment of women in senior roles. 

Read More: Embracing Diversity and Improving Inclusion: Making LGBTQ+ Inclusivity a Part of Company Culture

Group M UK have a dedicated programme to empower women 

There are now programmes dedicated to empowering women in more than four-fifths (82%) of certified top employers, up from 76% a year earlier. 

Certified Top Employer Europe Group M, the world-leading media investment organisation, has recently launched one such programme in the UK. Group M's Empower Women in Leadership programme was launched in 2023 in response to data that clearly showed a gap in female representation at the leadership level within the industry and the organisation and has a focus on helping women believe that leadership is achievable while giving them the confidence and skills to take ownership of that journey. 

The nine-month programme consists of three phases: Empower Self, Empower Others, and Empower Your Future. Each phase includes a mixture of in-person and virtual coaching-style workshops and live speaker events and focuses on self-development, practical skillset training, and career goal setting while developing a strong network of other women across the business. 

Read More: Recruit, Retain and Return – ‘3Rs’ for International Women’s Day

Cenit promotes gender equality across all levels of their organisation 

Our latest data shows that 83% of certified Top Employers are ensuring diverse representation through multiple layers of the organisations, not just the executive management. This is up from 76% a year earlier. 

Being mindful of this more holistic approach to gender equality is something Cenit, a Top Employer in oil and gas transportation and logistics in Colombia, has taken seriously. Their organisation guidelines and policies have been reviewed to guarantee talent processes (recruitment, selection, promotion, and remuneration) are without (gender) bias. In all their open roles, at least one woman must be in every selection process. 

Cenit also realises that supporting women means educating everyone. The organisation has taken real steps to educate employees about gender stereotypes and promote shared labour at work and home. The organisation has set up a school for parents to learn and discuss topics like the division of unpaid labour, equity and positive masculinities. In this framing, it can become more accessible for men to take on roles that women, both at work and at home, more traditionally fill. 

It's encouraging to see that among certified Top Employer organisations, there is universal awareness of the importance of gender equality. These organisations are ensuring that dedicated programmes succeed in empowering women and that these best practices grow in popularity globally. Today, like on all days, we encourage businesses to continue #InspiringInclusion in their workplaces. There is so much more to be done, though a combination of awareness and action can begin to create a more inclusive environment in the world of work. 

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Empowering Women in the Workplace: Inspiring Inclusion Initiatives by Certified Top Employers

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