Austen Shakespeare

Two government initiatives launched to "level up" pay and job opportunities for women

Minister for Women, Baroness Stedman-Scott, is launching two new initiatives to level up employment opportunities for women as the country recovers from the pandemic.

Announced on International Women’s Day, a new initiative will seek to improve pay transparency in the job application process and help businesses who want to go even further in attracting women to their positions.

Evidence shows listing a salary range on a job advert and not asking applicants to disclose salary history provides a firm footing for women to negotiate pay on a fairer basis. This could have a significant impact in closing salary gaps and tackling pay inequality.

The government is therefore leading the way with a pilot scheme, where participating employers list salary details on job adverts and stop asking about salary history during recruitment.

Alongside this, the Government will launch a new returners programme to help women back into STEM (science, technology, engineering & maths) careers. Research and employee feedback shows that returning to STEM roles after taking time out to care for loved ones can present significant challenges.

This new programme will help organisations to recruit and retain talented staff who are often overlooked because of a gap on their CV, by providing training, development and employment support to those who have taken time out for caring.

Minister for Women, Baroness Stedman-Scott, said: “The UK can only grasp its full potential by championing its brightest and best, and ensuring everyone, regardless of their background, has the opportunity to succeed.

“We believe that increased pay transparency will build on positive evidence of the role information can play when it comes to empowering women in the workplace. It is essential that we keep women at the forefront of the levelling up agenda as we recover from the pandemic and rebuild together.

“Our second announcement, supporting skilled women to return to STEM careers after care leave, will keep talented minds in STEM and improve the representation of women and marginalised communities in those incredibly important roles.”

The Government has already run 25 returner programmes across the private and public sector and will use learning from these initiatives to design the new STEM programme.

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