Employers need to re-evaluate job perks for women
Less than 3% of jobs offered by UK employers advertise benefits necessary to help women thrive. This is according to new research from the job search engine Adzuna.
The company looked at more than one million job ads in March 2023 to find out how many postings promoting perks aimed at women. The results revealed the dire need for employers to step up.
In Adzuna’s analysis, they found:
- 29,501 of the 1,043,451 job ads cited perks aimed at retaining and supporting women.
- only 17,638 ads promoted enhanced maternity or parental leave.
- just 6,410 postings offered some support with childcare costs.
- only 821 job ads mention menopause support; of those, just 30 postings offer paid HRT therapy. This is despite evidence showing that 1 in 10 women aged 45-55 leaves the workforce due to symptoms of menopause.
- only 5 UK job ads offered menstrual leave.
Recent research by YouGov found that almost half of Brits favour of the introduction of menstrual leave legislation. A further 40% of women said they regularly get period pain which is severe enough to affect their ability to work. Some countries have realised the negative impact that this time of the month has on women in the workplace. For example, Spain recently introduced legislation allowing three days per month of state-paid menstrual leave for those with incapacitating periods.
Adzuna’s research also found that fertility benefits such as egg freezing and IVF support are rare, with only 51 job ads mentioning these perks. Various large tech companies offer these benefits, but hiring in large tech companies is currently depressed, so there are limited options for women seeking fertility benefits from employers.
In contrast, many employers are offering popular perks such as duvet days (619 job ads), unlimited holidays (953 ads), and free gym membership (3,912 ads).
Paul Lewis, Chief Customer Officer at job search engine Adzuna, comments: “Women remain woefully undersupported in the UK workplace. Instead of duvet days or free gym membership, employers need to focus on benefits that support female employees. In particular, evidence shows menopause and menstruation are top factors making it harder for women to thrive at work, even leading many to drop out of the workforce. Women shouldn’t need to suffer in silence; employers need to step up, introduce open dialogues around these topics and add more flexibility for women juggling their health with work. Furthermore, keeping women in the workplace is key to filling skill gaps, so introducing benefits that help attract, support and ultimately retain women makes sense from a business as well as a societal perspective.”