With International Women’s Day fast approaching, the most recent UK employment statistics do not make for positive reading in the South East, as the region experienced the largest annual increase to female unemployment of all the UK’s regions (+33.4%).
However, the collective performance of all twelve regions equates to a small, yet much-welcomed annual improvement to the overall female employment rate, with 72% of women aged 16-64 currently in work. The only other regions to experience an increase in female unemployment were the North East (+24%) and Scotland (+7.5%).
The male employment rate also saw a small annual improvement, indicating that UK businesses are beginning to gain confidence and expand their workforce in the post-pandemic era, with many believing the worst of Covid is now behind them.
However, with workplace diversification still a key factor for businesses to consider during the recruitment process, it is important for employers in the South East to think carefully about how they select applicants and treat their existing employees.
Tina Chander, Head of the Employment Law team at Wright Hassall, commented: “Given the challenges people have faced over the last two years, it is great to read some positive news with regards to employment rates, as this shows that businesses are beginning to resume operations at full capacity. “That being said, it is important for employers to continue the progress made in the last decade, whereby we have seen a larger female representation at board level and workforces are generally much more diverse. “From a business perspective, having a diverse workforce provides a wide range of benefits, as you have different talents, ideas and approaches at your disposal, which allows for a much more complete service offering, with better results delivered. “Not only this, but all organisations should strive for more inclusivity, as this helps build a positive culture for the business, where employees are treated fairly and equal opportunities are available to everyone, regardless of gender. “Given the fact that a lot of businesses are currently in the process of recruiting new talent, now is the perfect time for employers to take stock of their current situation, ensuring they bring in experienced individuals, whilst also working to build a diverse workforce.”Tina Chander