Organisations that have continued efforts to improve gender equality during the Covid-19 pandemic have been celebrated on The Times Top 50 Employers for Women.
This year’s list, which is supported by Business in the Community, recognises household names including PepsiCo UK & Ireland and Royal Mail; public sector bodies including the Department for Work and Pensions and the Department for Transport; law firms including Allen and Overy and Pinsent Masons; and financial and insurance institutions including Santander and Aviva.
Charlotte Woodworth, gender equality campaign director at Business in the Community, said: “Covid-19 has shone a light on how far we have to go on gender equality: by having to pick up things like the bulk of extra caring responsibilities, women have been disproportionately affected by lockdown.
“We congratulate the many employers who have maintained their efforts towards gender equality at this time, often introducing innovative policies to support their workforce during this period.”
Law firm Pinsent Masons has made it onto the list for the fifth consecutive year. Senior partner Richard Foley said: “Equality in all forms is critical if business is to work better for people. While it’s clear that significant progress has been made across the profession over the last decade, I am fully aware that more can and should be done to build on the positive changes we have made at Pinsent Masons such as support for working families and the continued rollout of agile working.
“There are no quick fixes to achieving equality and recognising the challenges and how far there is still to go ensures that we continue to listen to our people and collaborate with other businesses to improve and adapt in a way that promotes equality in its broadest sense.”
Being recognised for our gender equality work is a fantastic achievement, especially given we work in a historically male-dominated sector” – Bernadette Kelly, DfT
The Department for Transport was recognised for its work in improving recruitment process for women, including mandating the use of “gender decoders” in job adverts so that language does not deter women from applying; and the promotion of flexible working and inclusivity.
Bernadette Kelly, DfT permanent secretary, said: “Being recognised for our gender equality work is a fantastic achievement, especially given we work in a historically male-dominated sector.
“DfT is committed to becoming a more inclusive employer and I hope in the year ahead we can make even more progress on gender equality as we build on the work this accolade recognises.”
Santander made it onto the list in recognition of initiatives including extensive family-friendly and flexible working policies, an employee-led “women in business” network, gender-balanced recruitment shortlists and menopause support.
“At Santander we’re committed to being a genuinely inclusive and diverse organisation so it’s fantastic to once again be named in the Times Top 50 Employers for Women. We know there is still much more to do and there are new challenges that have been raised by the pandemic, but we remain committed to further progressing towards gender parity and everyday inclusion at Santander,” said gender sponsor and executive director Tim Hinton.
We know there is still much more to do and there are new challenges that have been raised by the pandemic” – Tim Hinton, Santander
Technology company Atos was celebrated for its actions in areas such as recruitment, retention and progression, inclusivity, monitoring and accountability. It provides women with opportunities for sponsorship from senior leaders, and sets targets for increased representation at all levels.
Cheryl Allen, head of culture and transformation, Northern Europe, Atos, said: “I feel great pride as Atos is named as a Times Top 50 Employer for Women. We have a passion and determination to create an environment in which differences and individuality is valued and celebrated. We look forward to continuing our initiatives that support gender parity, at all levels.”