Surrey Police and Sussex Police feature in The Times Top 50 Employers for Women 2020
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Surrey Police and Sussex Police are leading the way as employers of women, according to The Times Top 50 Employers for Women 2020 list, published today (30 July).
The Times’ list is the UK’s most highly profiled and well established selection of organisations at the forefront of tackling gender inequality in the workplace and society and celebrates its tenth anniversary this year.
Surrey and Sussex police forces have been jointly presented with the award in recognition of their commitment to achieving gender equality within their workforce and the communities they serve.
Chief Constable of Surrey Police, Gavin Stephens said: “This is an amazing achievement. Being listed as one of The Times Top 50 Employers for Women is evidence of the hard work undertaken to support women in our workplace and raise awareness of the gender imbalances in policing.
We know that there is still work to be done but we are fully committed to addressing the gender inequalities that exist. Being a good employer for women helps us to be a good employer for everyone.”
The Times Top 50 Employers for Women List is selected by gender equality experts at Business in the Community, part of the Prince’s Responsible Business Network.
Organisations are assessed across a wide range of areas including transparency around pay practices, parent and carer-friendly policies, action on bullying and harassment, and promoting gender equality outside of their organisation. The list is unranked.
Progress recognised in Surrey and Sussex includes:
A seven percent increase in the number of women in senior leader roles in the last two years, through identifying and addressing factors deterring women from seeking promotion. Now 34 percent of senior leaders across the two forces are women.
Practical measures, such as flexible working and support for those experiencing maternity, parenthood, menopause or carer responsibilities have helped women employees through challenges so they can stay in their roles and continue to progress to more senior ranks. In response to a survey that found a high number of women respondents stated they lacked personal confidence to apply for promotion, all eligible women candidates for a promotion opportunity are now communicated to by the Gender Equality Champion encouraging them to be confident in their abilities. Line managers are also asked to offer similar encouragement. This has resulted in an increase in applications from women.
The work of the Sussex Police gender equality network ‘Evolve’ which runs an extensive number of work streams dealing with issues ranging from attracting women into specialist departments, encouraging women to consider applying for promotion and instilling confidence in members. The network, open to men and women across the force, continues to address areas to promote gender equality across the organisation and has a key role to play in
Amongst other measures to boost confidence are a mentoring and coaching programme, and workshops aimed at women and underrepresented groups that focus on self-confidence and self-belief, empowering attendees to break modesty norms and glass ceilings.
A new look recruitment campaign promoting strong female role models and more diverse options of joining, such as the Fast Track Detective Development Programme, has seen an increase in the number of women joining both Surrey Police and Sussex Police.
To challenge attitudes and gender bias in workplace culture, HeForShe workshops engage male officers and staff in open discussion about gender and to reflect on the role gender inequality has played in their own lives and careers and its impact on women and society. These have been rolled out nationally by Superintendent Miles Ockwell of Sussex Police.
To promote gender equality outside of their organisations, both forces support victims of domestic abuse – who are predominately women – providing community advice and initiatives. They also work with multi-agency teams to raise awareness and help prevent violence against women and girls. They also providing support for women in the community through funding community initiatives and grass root networks.
PCC of Surrey, David Munro added: “I am absolutely delighted to see the desire and determination that has gone towards gender equality in Surrey Police being recognised in the Times Top 50 Employer for Women list.
“The Force has strived really hard to create a diverse workplace that harnesses the skills and talent of everyone. They can be rightly proud of this achievement and whilst there is always more to do, I believe this clearly demonstrates that Surrey Police is a welcoming and inclusive organisation to come and work for.”