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One-quarter of women experience pregnancy discrimination at work

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Gender pay gap also remains an issue in the workplace

A new report by team building company Wildgoose revealed that 27% of women have pregnancy discrimination as a key concern in the workplace, highlighting the need for UK businesses to address their policies and culture.

The 2022 Diversity & Inclusion in the Workplace Report found that women are significantly less likely to state that their workplace is inclusive. Only 75% of female employees believe their workplace is inclusive, compared to 88% of male employees.

The areas of inclusion that companies need to focus on differ regionally. The report found that discrimination against pregnancy in the workplace, for example, insufficient maternity/paternity allowances, was most common in the East Midlands (35%).

The report surveyed employees from 133 UK workplaces, asking whether their workplace is an inclusive environment, where their organisation could improve, and whether they have experienced discrimination or inequality at work.

The report also revealed that almost one in five female respondents had experienced discriminatory behaviour in the workplace. A further 13% said their companies did not deal with the issue. Clearly, there are real flaws in the culture at many UK workplaces, where efforts are not being made to help women feel respected and safe.

Another cause for concern is the gender pay gap. More than a quarter of employees said they know they or a colleague receive less salary than someone else in the same position. Twenty-nine percent of female respondents said they experienced pay disparity in the workplace, compared to only 25% of males.

Pay inequality is more prevalent in London. The report found that employees in the North East are most likely to receive ‘pay parity’; however, 20% of people in the North East were aware of instances in their company where salaries were unequal.

Pay parity is vital in creating an inclusive workplace, whereas unequal pay causes employees to feel unrecognised for their work.

Jonny Edser, Managing Director at Wildgoose, commented: “With a potential recession around the corner, businesses will be looking to optimise performance as much as possible. One way to do this is by making sure they’re a meritocracy, where people can make the most of their abilities and rise regardless of their gender or background. By combating discrimination, they’ll also be creating a more harmonious working environment and higher job satisfaction.”

 “With so many workplaces suffering from inclusivity issues, it’s important that companies make efforts to bring their people together. We know how effective social activities can be in forming bonds between colleagues and creating a level playing field. And that has to be the aim: to make employees realise they’re all equal.”

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