Equal opportunities are just good, plain business sense

Businesses which introduce gender equality programmes could save more than
£200,000 in just two years, according to a new report by Opportunity Now.

Equality and Excellence: The Business Case includes a six-step calculation
which allows employers to work out the financial benefits that could be
generated by implementing a workplace equality programme.

This shows that an organisation employing 500 staff could save at least
£66,000 in the first year and £141,000 in subsequent years through the
introduction of such a scheme.

The report states that employee expectations are changing with work-life
balance now one of the top three criteria in job selection.

Clara Freeman, chair of Opportunity Now, a business-led campaign that works
with employers to raise the full potential of women at all levels in the
workforce, commented, "Members of Opportunity Now demonstrate that a
commitment to gender equality results in improved business performance.

"The benefits that equality bring have become very clear. This report
makes an unequivocal business case for equality," she said.

The report finds that addressing equality issues also reduces costs, helping
employers to avoid the recruitment charges of between 100 and 150 per cent of
the annual salary of each woman who leaves her job due to unrealised potential.

The research highlights the fact that compensation paid to employees who are
unlawfully discriminated against is rising by 30 per cent a year and the loss
of reputation, customers and potential recruits pushes the real costs to
employers much higher.


By Ben Willmott

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