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Zurich UK increases senior female job applications by 45% in just 3 months with one easy change

Advertising every full-time job as a potential part, job share or flexible working opportunity has increased female applicant numbers

Zurich UK has already seen an increase of 45% in applications from females for senior management roles alongside an overall 25% increase in female applications.

The Minister of State for Employment at the Department for Work and Pensions Alok Sharma commented on the move saying:

“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.”

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, as well as using gender neutral language in every job advertisement, has already resulted in a significant change.

The initiative was introduced in March following an 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 were not previously available on a part-time or flexible basis.

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

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.

“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.”

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