The Lifting the Second Glass Ceiling Report by the British Standards Institution (BSI) found that women must have female role models in workplaces as 67% or two-thirds of UK women feel that having them will boost the development of young women in the workplace. The report further discussed the current attitudes around women at work, highlighting the need to understand why women leave the workplace early and not out of choice, to support women who want to stay working longer.
Lifting the Second Glass Ceiling Report
The report was based on a survey of 5,074 people who self-identify as women in the UK, US, Australia, China and Japan conducted by BSI. It delves into the reasons behind women’s premature departure from the workforce worldwide, highlighting that this choice is not always driven by personal preference. This report discusses the factors propelling this trend and highlights the considerable advantages for individuals, organizations, and society at large when women are encouraged and supported to maintain longer careers.
They found that 42% of working women across the globe agree that it is uncommon to encounter older women in leadership positions. Among UK working women, 42% believe that women leave work early due to well-being and health issues and 20% believe menopause will make them leave work early.
Although seen as a common factor why women are leaving work early, talking about health with male managers is an uncomfortable subject for 60% of women. This illustrates the issue, of how women are less likely to be in leadership positions yet is needed to retain employment in women workers as there is a gap in understanding between women’s health and male managers.
It is believed that having female leadership in businesses can greatly improve the situation, giving women employees the ability to raise health and well-being issues that are affecting their work. Additionally, the report unveiled that 72% of women expressed comfort in discussing menopause with a female employer. It further indicated that promoting greater representation of female leaders could serve as a crucial catalyst in overcoming a significant obstacle to women’s sustained participation in the workforce.
Recommendations Based on the Report
- Acknowledge the Advantages of Breaking the Second Glass Ceiling
Recognising and addressing the challenges faced by women leaving the workforce early can yield substantial benefits for individuals, organizations, and society as a whole. This agenda presents an opportunity to stimulate growth, foster innovation, and expedite progress towards a sustainable world.
- Facilitate Open Dialogue
Engaging in meaningful conversations with women and actively listening to their needs is crucial. By understanding the driving forces behind their departure, we can uncover effective solutions that reverse these trends and create an environment where women can truly flourish.
- Ensure Accessible Support
Support systems must be readily available and well-known to women, encompassing various aspects such as menopause and other pertinent factors. Employers can collaborate with employees to cultivate a culture of support, making resources easily accessible to those who require them.
- Embrace Flexibility as an Asset
Simple adjustments can have a profound impact. By providing flexibility in terms of work hours, locations, and arrangements, the burden on individuals considering leaving the workforce can be significantly reduced.
- Promote a Comprehensive Culture of Care
Taking a holistic approach that addresses the need to foster trust, engagement, and resilience within organizations. Nurturing a culture of care and support benefits both women and the overall success of the organization.
- Share Best Practices
Just as collaboration was instrumental in shattering the initial glass ceiling, organisations can accelerate progress by sharing successful strategies and practices. By working together and learning from one another, we can expedite the journey towards a sustainable world where women are empowered and thrive.