Women’s history month

Women’s history month

What is women’s history month?

March is recognised as Women’s History Month, honouring the economic, political, and social achievements of women. In what was once a week-long festival, it has now evolved into a month-long event and this year’s theme is “Women Promoting Hope, Providing Healing”. It’s about paying tribute to the caregivers and frontline workers during the pandemic. We believe it’s important to celebrate women across all industries, recognizing their challenges and achievements in the workplace. 

Significant moments throughout history…
As we look back, it is important to understand how the past has shaped the present, and how this has affected female employment today. While there have been laws prohibiting women from working historically, the first time women entered the workforce on mass was during World War I and II. Between 1914 and 1918, more than a million women contributed by stepping in place of enlisted husbands and brothers in factories, shops and offices across the UK. 1941 saw women taking up roles such as mechanics, engineers and more. Fast forward to today, current statistics state the female employment rate in the UK is at 72.2% with 9.68 million women working full-time showing just how far we have come with women in the workplace.

It is also important to recognise individuals and groups that have powered movements on a variety of issues that have enabled women to get to where they are today. For example, the 187 female workers at a Ford factory in Dagenham that took action and went on strike in 1968. They were in protest against their male colleagues who were earning 15% more than them. This was a catalyst in the movement and fight for equality. The ripple effects this had was immense and spurred the 1970 Equal Pay act which made it illegal to discriminate against women by paying them less than men. Later in 1983, the Equal Pay amendment was passed by parliament allowing women to be paid the same as men. Whilst this legislation is in place, women still face several inequalities in both opportunity and pay today and the fight for equality continues.

Why is it important in the recruitment industry?
Within recruitment, we speak to a large number of women both from a candidate and client perspective. It’s important to understand the demands of a job and ensure there is a level of equality and fairness being offered. Recruiters play a crucial part in this. Whether it be salary, maternity pay or simply being put forward for a role – recruiters and hiring managers have the power to change faces of companies and workplaces. Whilst there is still a long way to go, we have seen an increase in numbers of women progressing through organisations to top level and more senior positions. Among the top 100 listed companies in the UK, 31 women hold executive roles in 27 companies. This includes 8 chief executive officers and 15 chief financial officers.
With a female co-founder, Mackie Myers take great pride in recognising the importance of giving women equal opportunities; valuing and crediting their strengths in the jobs that they do. We are delighted that 59% of our placements have been female, across a range of industries and at various levels. The business will also be trialling a 4 day working week later this year, a concept which has been proven to improve gender equality in the workplace.

Whilst the focus of this year might be on women in healthcare and medicine, it is about celebrating the efforts of women from all backgrounds that have helped us get to the position we are in now. With recruitment being a core function in shaping a workplace, we look to the future to see how we can continue to make positive changes and create equal opportunities for men and women alike.  We strive to contribute to a society where concepts of gender, ethnicity, sexuality or disability no longer define people. Rather people are defined as people.

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