November 02 ,2017 | by Anisa Choudhary

Return-to-work programmes could improve gender equality, research shows

Research from recruitment company Hays has found 70 per cent of UK workers believe introducing return-to-work programmes or similar initiatives could help improve gender equality.

The Hays UK gender diversity report 2017 surveyed 5,400 workers in the UK. It found some employers are providing opportunities for workers that have taken a career break

Progression

15 per cent of respondents said their workplace has introduced a return-to-work programme. 

They found 76 per cent of women believe working flexibly would limit their career, compared to 65 per cent of men.

Men are also likely to be offered more career opportunities after having children, with 24 per cent of male respondents being more likely to be promoted, compared to 10 per cent of females. However, more than 30 per cent of respondents believe men who take shared parental leave may be seen as being less committed to their career.

The study showed which route new parents who have taken a career break are most likely to choose. 79 per cent of men either stay in their current job or progress in their career after having children, compared to 38 per cent of women.

Opportunities

Hays UK and Ireland Head of Diversity Yvonne Smyth commented: “For those returning to work after a career break, employers should look to improve the transition process so they feel they have the opportunities to progress their careers, should they wish to. For example, our report found the majority agree structured return-to-work programmes will help towards bridging the gender gap and encourage more people back into work.”

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