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Women more likely to apply for senior roles if flexible

Zurich has appointed a third more women to senior roles after advertising all jobs as flexible.

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Zurich's HRD: “Flexible working can help tackle D&I issues we’ve all been battling with for many years"
Zurich's HRD: “Flexible working can help tackle D&I issues we’ve all been battling with for many years"

Following a study with the government-backed Behavioural Insights Team, the insurer found that employers who embrace flexible working could boost applications from women for top jobs by as much as 20 percent.

 

In 2019, Zurich began advertising all vacancies with the option of part-time, full-time, job share or flexible working.

 

Coupled with the use of gender-neutral language in every job advertisement, Zurich has since seen a 16 percent rise in women applying for jobs and a near 20 percent jump in female applications for management roles.

 

Alongside an increase in applications, the number of women hired for senior roles as a direct result of the initiative, to their tackle gender pay gap, has leapt by 33 percent.

 

In April this year, Zurich published its gender pay gap for the UK business. The company’s mean gender pay gap for 2019 is 20.7 percent, compared to 22.8 percent in 2018.

 

Steve Collinson, Zurich’s head of HR, said: “Flexible working can help tackle diversity and inclusion issues we’ve all been battling with for many years. Embracing part-time and flexible work is not a silver bullet, but we’ve seen hugely encouraging results, simply by adding six words to our job adverts.

 

“By offering roles that fit flexibly around family life, employers could open the floodgates to a much wider pool of untapped talent. This will also help women progress into higher paid jobs whilst fitting other commitments around their careers. Workers want a new deal and there’s a danger that businesses that don’t get on board, won’t be able to compete for the best and brightest minds.”

 

Minister for Women, Baroness Elizabeth Berridge, added: “Zurich’s work in this space has proven how effective a simple change to a job advert can be for workplace equality. It is vital that more employers take this on board as we seek to increase opportunities for everyone in this country.”

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