1 in 4 women subject to pregnancy discrimination in the workplace

Last Updated on: 22nd November 2023, 10:09 am

New report reveals UK workplaces must do more to address their policies and culture with 27% of females stating pregnancy discrimination as a cause for concern.

According to the 2022 Diversity & Inclusion in the Workplace Report women are significantly less likely to state their workplace is an inclusive place to work. 75% of female employees said they believe their workplace is inclusive, compared to 88% of male employees.

Pregnancy discrimination was a key concern for female respondents, with 27% of female respondents stating this was the area of inclusion and diversity which they wanted their company to improve.

There are also clear geographical differences around which particular areas of inclusion companies need to focus on. Discrimination against pregnancy in the workplace, such as insufficient maternity/paternity allowances, was most prevalent in the East Midlands (35%).

The report was conducted by team building experts Wildgoose and surveyed employees from 133 UK workplaces. It asked if their workplace is an inclusive environment, what areas of diversity their organisation could improve upon, and whether they have experienced discrimination or inequality in the workplace.

The report also found that nearly one in five of female respondents have been subjected to discriminatory behaviour in the workplace. More worrying still, 13% said it was not dealt with by the company. This undeniably shows real flaws in the overall culture of some UK workplaces, where efforts are not being made to help women feel respected and safe whilst at work.

Unequal pay is the top cause of inequality in UK workplaces

The survey also revealed that the gender pay gap still exists. More than a quarter of employees said they are aware that they or a colleague are being paid less than someone else in the same position. 29% of female respondents have experienced pay disparity in the workplace, whereas only 25% of males said the same.

Employees in London are most likely to experience pay inequality, while those in the North East are most likely to receive ‘pay parity’. Though 20% of people in the North East are still aware of instances in their company where salaries are unequal.

Ensuring pay parity for those in the same job roles is a vital part of creating an inclusive workplace, avoiding inequality, unfairness and even favouritism. Unequal pay causes employees to feel unrecognised for the work they put in.

Commenting on the findings, Wildgoose managing director Jonny Edser states:

“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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