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A good Apprenticeship programme will include strategies to ensure that Apprenticeships are accessible to the widest possible demographic and diverse spread of people - on average, improved gender balance is expected to lead to an increase in GDP of about 12% by 2050.

While there appears to be a gender balance in Apprenticeships overall, in reality, men and women train in markedly different sectors, reflecting and emphasising occupational segregation in the workforce generally. Women are significantly under-represented in sectors such as engineering (4%), while men are under-represented in sectors such as the children’s and young people’s workforce (6.9%).

How can Apprenticeships help your business meet its gender balance targets?

Apprenticeships can provide an opportunity for your business to bring new and diverse talent to improve the diversity and gender balance in your organisation.

“To achieve gender balance by 2030, the UK will need an additional 1.5 million women managers,” said Chartered Management Institute CMI director of strategy Petra Wilton. “Apprenticeships have a leading role to play by supporting women at all stages of their careers to progress through management. From those starting out in the world of work to those looking to push on in their careers, management and leadership apprenticeships are helping to equip women with the skills needed to progress and to help fill the ‘Missing Middle’ creating the talent pipeline to the top.”

Here are some steps you can take to ensure your business is on a pathway to equality throughout your organisation:

  • Recruitment

There are going to be times that businesses will need to look at how they are recruiting and if there are different areas within their industry they need to target to find the best talent for the right role. During the recruitment or selection process businesses must ensure staff are trained in areas such as diversity issues and how to eliminate unconscious gender or ethnic bias.

  • Generating a gender balance and diversity policy or process

HR teams will most likely be the first to set out the gender balance and diversity policy or processes in your business. This process will show the business, it’s directors, managers and employees the part they have to play in making sure that gender balance and diversity is integrated into recruitment processes and line management structure, whilst ensuring it is fair to all. It will include the steps being taken to ensure employees are given equal opportunities for growth, training and progression regardless of their personal or professional situation.

  • Communicating the gender balance and diversity policy or process

When looking at setting up processes to ensure the business is always aiming to achieve gender balance and diversity targets, it needs to ensure the new process or policy is communicated in the best way to the whole team. 

Whether it’s through meetings, training sessions or via regular HR email communications, making sure everyone understands the policy is key to ensuring each individual understands the part they have to play in adhering and encouraging equal rights.

When engaging with a Senior Leadership Teams (SLT) about gender balance and diversity, this is the group that will most likely want to see the detail and statistics of where the organisation is at, and how changes are being made and adopted, ensuring there are clear processes in place.

  • Making gender balance and diversity a KPI

To effectively manage and monitor the progress towards a target, the gender balance and equality targets should be added as a KPI that is tracked by your teams, SLT’s, directors and the board. Metrics may differ depending on the organisation, however, it is likely to involve analysis of your HR data to understand the current demographic of your organisation, in order to set out where you would like to be to benefit new and existing employees and grow your organisation through a diverse workforce.

Our team will be able to work in collaboration with you to ensure all your gender balance goals can be met in a fair and open way. We will do this while ensuring that you always have the right person for the role. Contact us today on 0800 783 25 45 or by email to enquiries@pgon.co.uk.