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Invest in the professional and personal development of your female employees. In supporting your female employees with career planning activities and providing personal development opportunities, particularly those that lead to professional status, you are showing your employees that you have confidence in their abilities and want to see them progress. Such opportunities offer far reaching benefits to the organisation, not just in terms of increased skills, but also in relation to job satisfaction, maximising potential and in retaining highly skilled employees at the company.

Women often hold back longer than men before feeling they are ready for promotion, or for that challenging new role.

Providing opportunity to consider future plans and aspirations is beneficial to ensuring both the employee and the employer have clear expectations and interests.

  • Discuss the career options and possibilities open to your female employees at an early stage using a career development plan. Identify any barriers to progression and offer solutions
  • Build in opportunity to discuss concerns, develop confidence to apply or discuss ways to gain the attributes they see as necessary but not yet achieved.

Supporting female employees to apply for roles is equally important. This can be done by:

  • Offering career coaching sessions
  • Providing a career mentor
  • Access to an external group coaching environment such as the WISE Career Development course may be beneficial.

Ensure your female apprentices have a clear pathway to achieving the next steps on their professional journey.

  • Prompt your female employees to identify and engage with appropriate professional associations
  • After finishing an apprenticeship, the next major professional milestone is often associate, affiliate or chartership via a professional association. Encourage and support this route
  • Women may feel less confident at making applications for this or feel that there are barriers in the way. Discuss perceived barriers (childcare, time commitments, travel, costs, lack of confidence) and offer solutions and support to overcome them
  • In construction, if the apprentice is mobile following completion of their apprenticeship, this can maximise their chances of being employed on interesting projects. Consider supporting younger women especially with accommodation and travel or to consider alternative roles to maximise their chances whilst they are not in a position to travel
  • Encourage and support your female employees to undertake professional qualifications. For example, in engineering EngTech at Level 3 and IEng for degree apprenticeships are the next milestones to achieve
  • Provide access to the necessary contact or career mentor to support and advise them in advance and during this progression
  • Ensure the young women trying to progress their professional status are given appropriate time for CIPD activities. Often those with caring responsibilities put their own development last and time out of the office and away from home for CIPD is often squeezed out.
Next Checklist: Champion good practice to promote career progression

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