Embrace Change: The Times Top 50 for Gender Equality in 2024 - Business in the Community

Embrace Change: The Times Top 50 for Gender Equality in 2024

Post author image. Charlotte Woodworth
Charlotte Woodworth, Gender Equality Manager, Business in the Community (BITC), on why businesses should enter The Times Top 50 for Gender Equality and make a commitment to change.

After a tumultuous year, at home and abroad, UK business must prioritise supporting their people to weather ongoing storms. From the cost-of-living crisis to increasing inequality, there is much that demands action – but there are also opportunities to drive lasting, positive change. In the new year, Business in the Community (BITC) will launch the Times Top 50 Employers for Gender Equality 2024, with updated questions probing everything from action on sexual harassment to salary transparency. Now more than ever, employers must act – the awards offer a unique way to share your commitment to driving more inclusive, equitable workplaces.

Gender inequality at work remains a problem

Opening on 8 January 2024, and now in its 14th year, The Times Top 50 for Gender Equality recognises UK businesses for their commitment and dedication to creating environments where everyone, regardless of gender, can thrive. It stands as a testament to the values we uphold and the strides we aim to take in the pursuit of a more equitable future. 

Gender inequality at work remains a persistent, stubborn problem. Women still typically earn less than men (earning 85 pence for every pound earned by a man), hold fewer senior roles (women make up 30% of senior roles and 6% of FTSE 100 company CEOs – the picture is even bleaker for Black, Asian, mixed race or other ethnically diverse women) and are more likely to work in lower-valued, less secure jobs. Women and gender minorities can often face bias, discrimination and sexual harassment at work – e.g., more than 1 in 2 women has experienced sexual harassment at work. Applying an intersectional lens highlights how these inequities can play out differently – the pay gap is estimated to be significantly higher for trans people; disabled women report greater levels of harassment.  

Making a commitment to sustainable change

But it doesn’t have to be this way – moreover, addressing these issues makes good business sense. Businesses that champion gender equality inherently foster innovation, bolster their reputation, and create an environment that attracts and retains top talent. Diverse teams drive creativity and offer a broader perspective, enabling better decision-making and problem-solving. 

The essence of this campaign is a commitment to sustainable change. Entering The Times Top 50 Employers for Gender Equality allows employers to review the approach they are taking to ensure their workplace is driving inclusion, regardless of gender, and benchmark how their practice compares with other applicants.  

To help companies make a great submission for this award, we are hosting a comprehensive webinar on 11 January 2024. At this event, we’ll share an in-depth understanding, including who can apply, the application and assessment process, timelines for 2024, costs, support for BITC members, as well as online content and planned events. 

The closing date for entries is the 16 February, giving organisations a six-week entry period. 

Why enter The Times Top 50 for Gender Equality

Entering The Times Top 50 for Gender Equality isn’t about achieving a ranking; it’s about acknowledging the progress made while recognising that the road to gender equality is a continuous one. It’s about creating workplaces where every individual feels valued, empowered, and respected. 

It also provides a significant opportunity to learn from others and enable others to learn from you. You can see from our list of 2023 achievers and the Insights gleaned that great work is being done, but we have more to do. But don’t just take my word for it. Previous participants have told us that The Times Top 50 for Gender Equality enhances their organisation’s profile (93%), pushes their organisation to do better (86%), helps identify strategy, drive engagement internally, and highlights best practice (79%) and that it helps their organisation to attract talent (73%). Now who doesn’t want that? 

Let’s make 2024 the year where gender equality isn’t just a conversation but an undeniable, fundamental part of our business practices. Together, let’s embrace change.