Leading Companies on Gender Equality Policies

Let’s analyse the strategies adopted by leading multinationals to avoid situations of inequality

Empresas ejemplares en políticas de igualdad de género
04/01/2017 · Alexandra Maratchi

In this blog we have talked in depth about cases of gender inequality within companies. We know that in the UE’s countries there is still a gender salary gap of 15%, and that women are underrepresented in managerial positions. In this entry, we are going to analyse the answers given by firms to correct these situations, through the example set by three companies that have applied admonitory strategies, and that have been an inspiration for other multinationals. 

Maternity Leave

Nestlé: with over 339.000 workers spread around the world, this multinational chose to follow the advice given by the International Labour Organization (ILO) in its Maternity Leave Convention, in order to create an equality plan that met the needs of its large and diverse crew.

Nestlé’s strategy is based on 5 key-points: maternity protection, labour protection, creation of a healthy working environment, working flexibility and creating an adequate space for breastfeeding. 

How are these guidelines being materialised? First, through a minimum period of paid maternity leave of 14 weeks, extensible to 6 months, without risk of losing the job. In countries like the United States, for instance, the law only confers a non-paid leave of 12 weeks.  

Also, once the leave comes to an end, female workers have the right to go back to their previous position, or an equivalent one, negotiate a flexible schedule and, in offices with more than 50 female workers, they have specific rooms for breastfeeding at their disposal.

Check out the principles of Nestlé Equality Strategy in their annual report.

Labour integration

AGBAR: in 2008 this company, along with other 9 firms, signed a compromise of collaboration with the Parliament of Catalonia for the relocation of women that had been victims of gender abuse.

In this project, companies had to describe the vacancies to be filled and specify the pertinent training for the job. From its side, the public administration was responsible for the selection and the training of the candidates.

When needed, workers were being monitored and offered support during the first weeks of activity. 

Selection processes

Gap Jumpers: in the case of this company, it is not specifically an exemplary measure a company has undertaken, but rather a proposal applicable to any firm willing to avoid prejudice in their selection processes.

According to studies, men often apply to professional positions meeting only 60% of the skills required, whereas women face far more demanding conditions. How could this bias be eliminated from the selection process? Do you know the TV Show “The Voice”? Well, Gap Jumpers has proposed to do exactly the same: blindfolded auditions.

GapJumpers gathers anonymous candidates and asks them to overcome a series of challenges based on the skills required for the position. Then, a software erases any gender-related evidence, origin or age being displayed both in the curriculum and the cover letter, such as: name, graduation year, university and address.

According to the company, the objective is “to use the auditions in order to measure talent based on working performance, instead of some key-words in the curriculum”. Companies like BBC, Adobe or Google have already applied this methodology in their hiring processes.

 

Find out more about Gender Equality Policies within the company in our MOOC: “Gender Equality in the Company”. 

 

Alexandra Maratchi

Alexandra Maratchi

CEO