More than 100 employers sign up to exemplar employer equality scheme

More than 100 employers, including some of the UK’s top companies, have signed up to an ‘exemplar employer’ scheme that aims to reduce the gender pay gap.

The scheme requires organisations to give a clear commitment to reducing the pay gap through projects such as job-share registers for new mothers and mentoring schemes to encourage more female executives.

Organisations signed up to the scheme include Tesco, BT, Royal Mail, Goldman Sachs and IBM.

Ruth Kelly, minister for women, also launched a new fund available to employers to finance ‘troubleshooters’, who will advise on how to create and retain more part-time jobs for women at a senior level.

Both schemes have been created as part of the government’s response to the Women and Work Commission report, which looked at the causes of the gender pay gap.

Creating a more flexible working world was one of the key recommendations made by the commission as a way to increase the number of women – and the quality of roles available part-time and flexibly – in the workplace.

Kelly said: “Just because a woman trades down her hours does not mean she should have to trade down her status. The best employers understand the hard-headed business reasons for extending quality flexible and part-time roles for women.”

John Cridland, CBI deputy director-general, said: “Helping women reach their full potential in the workplace is a win-win for everybody – for the individual, for the business, and for the economy. The exemplar employers scheme is vital in promoting the benefits of diversity and equality.”

Other actions introduced include a new “equality check” that will help public sector organisations spot any emerging problems with equal treatment of staff.

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