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  • Irish women work fewer hours, earn less money and are inadequately represented in business, according to European Commission research
  • Women make up 46% of all those in employment and are more likely to work part-time
  • NSAI’s people improvement scheme, Excellence Through People, has been updated for 2018 with stronger guidance for employers on improving equality and diversity
  • Advice comes on International Women’s Day 2018, which is marked on March 8th every year

Irish women are more likely to work part-time, earn less money and are inadequately represented in business when compared with men, according to the European Commission. 

While people management schemes, such as Excellence Through People (ETP) from the National Standards Authority of Ireland (NSAI), have helped to tackle workplace inequality in recent years, women often still find themselves lagging behind when it comes to equal opportunities and income.

In some cases, the Commission found that women suffer direct discrimination where they’re simply treated less favourably than men. Or they may be treated unfairly due to a policy or practice that’s not designed to discriminate, but still results in unequal treatment. 

“There’s little doubt that Irish women have more rights than previous generations, but gender equality has yet to be achieved in many areas,” said Michelle Browne, Head of Excellence Through People.

“More often than not, women find themselves at a disadvantage professionally due to unfair workplace practices or preconceptions, and this can lead to them being overlooked,” she added.

“These tips we’re releasing today, coupled with NSAI’s Excellence Through People programme, can help employers counteract any imbalance through practical, cost-effective actions,” said Ms Browne.

Five Tips for Employers 

On International Women’s Day 2018, the NSAI is issuing the following five tips for employers looking to tackle gender inequality in the workplace head-on:

  1. Leadership Development | Organisations should make sure that a system for leadership development is available, including for part-time staff, the majority of which may be women.  There are several ways this can be achieved, for example the introduction of mentoring, coaching, learning and development programmes, 360-degree feedback, talent management and succession planning systems. 
  2. Put it in a Policy | Businesses should have an Equal Opportunities Policy, which identifies its objectives and targets with regard to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion. This Policy could then be implemented with the help, diversity initiatives and/or diversity training
  3. Middle Management Motivation | Have line managers who motivate, support and communicate with their employees – as the saying goes, people leave managers not organisations! Line managers need to get to know both their male and female staff on a personal basis to understand what motivates them 
  4. Empower Your Staff to Innovate | Empower staff in the organisation, regardless of gender, to have a say in how they carry out their work as innovation can only take place when different perspectives are allowed to flourish to bring new ideas to the fore.  
  5. Introduce Equality Reporting | Introducing Equality reporting is the only way that Gender Pay gaps can be addressed – as long organisations cannot see the issues they will not be addressed.  Likewise, with recruitment and promotional procedures must be analysed systematically and transparently, with regard to the organisation's commitment to inclusion and diversity to ensure issues prevalent in the past are addressed.

To reflect the changing workplace environment, NSAI’s Excellence Through People (ETP) certification scheme has been updated for 2018 and has strengthened its requirements for organisations in relation to equality and diversity. 

Companies applying for the scheme, which aims to maximise employee contribution, now have to show that they have a system in place which supports leadership development. Applicants must also have a robust Equal Opportunities Policy, which identifies its objectives and targets with regard to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion.

Learn more about NSAI’s Excellence Through People programme

Get more details on International Women's Day 2018 #PressforProgress?  #IWD2018