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In just three months Zurich UK increases senior female job applications by 45% with one easy change #WomenOnBoards

Minister of State for Employment at the Department for Work and Pensions Alok Sharma

How has Zurich UK increased the number of senior female job applications by 45% in just three months?

In March 2019, Zurich UK introduced an initiative to advertise every full time job as a potential part, job share or flexible working opportunity.

Alongside this, all job advertisements were written in gender neutral language.  

Already the business has seen an increase of 45% in applications from females for senior management roles alongside an overall 25% increase in female applications.

Minister of State for Employment at the Department for Work and Pensions Alok Sharma comments:

“Flexible working can have a massive impact on helping people into good careers. With an estimated 2 million people in the UK who could return to work, but often struggle with the commitment of a traditional 9 to 5 job, there is a huge pool of talent out there.

“It’s great to see a major employer like Zurich taking the initiative and offering all roles with a flexible, part time or job-share option. Flexible working is something my department also offers and this has helped us attract excellent candidates at all levels.”

WHAT WOULD HAPPEN if you could apply for every job on a part time basis?

Just three months on, Zurich UK reveals a 25% increase in female applicants

Zurich UK is tackling the gender pay gap head on with a newly launched first of its kind initiative to advertise every vacancy as a potential part time, job share or full time working opportunity along with agile working. This, coupled with the use of gender neutral language in every job advertisement, has already generated significant change.

Just three months on, the business has seen a 25% increase in the number of females applying for jobs across all levels of the business. This is particularly prominent around senior management roles which has seen a more pronounced percentage increase of 45%.

The initiative was introduced in March following internal analysis of Zurich’s gender pay gap. The business worked with an external research agency to help identify the underlying causes of the gender pay gap and ways in which to reduce it.

 The research highlighted the need to attract more women to senior and technical roles at Zurich. Many of these roles have not previously being available on a part-time or flexible basis.

FlexWork at Zurich

Both new and existing Zurich employees also have the option to request to work on a part time, job share or FlexWork basis. Already, (72%) almost three out of four Zurich employees enjoy Flexwork.

This sets out to empower employees to work where, when and how they choose to optimise productivity and wellbeing and balance professional and personal commitments.

Take-up is high and it’s agreed on an individual to manager or team basis. When it comes to working part time 11% of Zurich employees already do this and half of these opt for a four day week.

There are 8.6 million part time workers in the UK, 2 million are under 30 and 3.2 million are aged 30-49.

“It’s reassuring that we’ve already managed to shift the dial on some of the symptoms behind our gender pay gap. We completely understand this isn’t a silver bullet as the gender pay gap is a deep rooted and complex issue. We are committed to taking concrete steps to make Zurich and our industry a more attractive place to work for the broadest range of people.” Steve Collinson, Head of HR Zurich UK comments,

“We believe that a culture of ‘last in the office’ is fairly antiquated and by offering people the opportunity to work in a way that suits their personal circumstances we can open up a whole new talent pool. This isn’t just about attracting more women into senior positions, we want to give everyone the opportunity to pursue their chosen career regardless of their personal circumstances. This could range from working mums, fathers with young children, people with dual careers or those with elderly or dependent relatives. We believe that if you increase the number of part time senior level roles, it radically changes the challenges businesses face when sourcing top talent.”

Zurich UK employee data shows:

  • The number of female jobs applicants across all levels has increased from 32% to 40% from the period of 1/1/18 to 3/3/19 compared to 4/3/19 – 30/6/19 when the changes were implemented. This is a percentage increase of 25%.
  • Over the same period, senior management roles have seen a more pronounced increase in applications from females from 29% to 42% = 45

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