May 5, 2021
International engineering company, Jacobs, has been named as one of the Times Top 50 Employers for Women. The annual survey is the UK’s most highly profiled and well-established listing of employers striving for gender equality in the workplace.
Run by the charity Business in the Community – The Prince’s Responsible Business Network – for more than a decade, the process identifies companies which make gender equality part of their business strategy.
Applicants are assessed on a range of areas, including their approach to recruitment, family friendly policies and how they have championed gender equality in the context of the pandemic.
Gender Equality Director at Business in the Community Charlotte Woodworth said: “COVID-19 has shone a light on how far we have to go on gender equality: by having to pick up things like the bulk of extra caring responsibilities, women have been disproportionately affected by lockdown.
She added: “Employers like Jacobs haven’t forgotten women at work and they are committed to making gender inequality a thing of the past.”
Jacobs have adopted a ‘we live inclusion’ as a core value to create a company where people feel safe, included and valued. This culture has been driven at the very top of the organisation, with senior leaders being accountable for progress.
Alongside leadership initiatives, Jacobs’ biggest positive changes have resulted from global inclusion initiatives being taken on, tailored and amplified by their eight grassroots Jacobs Employee Networks (JENs). While each JEN champions a specific group within the company (LGBTI+, Latinx, black, disabled, female, veteran, professional development and global multiculturalism), the culture of partnership and cross-collaboration between the networks has pushed intersectionality to the forefront, enabling JEN members to work closely together on programming and initiatives that benefit multiple groups at once.
Support and flexibility
Jacobs has taken several actions to minimise the profound effect the global pandemic has had, particularly on women. These include:
- Promote flexible working, allowing staff to have alternative work schedules and locations
- Establishing a forum for parents to create a global support network that allowed them to share resources, network and compare best practices.
- Building on the existing Employee Assistance Program by developing a free, globally accessible mental health check-in tool called One Million Lives to help users assess their current mental health and provide them with suggestions and resources for personal growth and resilience.
Mind the (pay) gap
A key part of being included in The Times Top 50 Employers for Women was the close monitoring and actions to improve the Pay Gap and Pay Equity for women and ethnicities within Jacobs. Their Gender Pay Gap for England, Wales and Scotland has reduced for three consecutive years and have also seen a steady increase in female hires, a reduction in voluntary attrition and an increase in diverse representation on the Jacobs’ Board (55%) and Executive leadership (60%).
Looking ahead, Jacobs’ aspirational goal is to create a 40-40-20 gender-balanced workforce around the globe (40% men, 40% women and 20% open to any gender) over the next five years.< Back to News & Views