7 August, 2017

Thank you for the namecheck, Grazia

With the recent furore about the gender pay gap still raging in the press, we were pleased this month to be mentioned in Grazia magazine. As part of their take on the subject, we were singled out for praise as one of six ‘great British brands that are actively cheerleading their female employees’ with a more enlightened and progressive approach to gender equality in general.

Several of our policies were cited as reasons for our inclusion. These included our 20% staff discount on purchases, together with our generous company-run saving and share-buying schemes. These are, of course, open to all our people but worthy of note because of the invaluable help they give in terms of easing the burden of spiraling living costs, as well as sensible financial planning for the future.

Working hours was another key area that was highlighted as they offer the degree of flexibility and, above all, choice on which so many women place a high premium. Part-time hours, job sharing and term-time working arrangements, as well as being a key enabler for working mothers to return to employment, are useful in all kinds of circumstances. They allow those in part-time education to work and have a means of support while they are studying.

Similarly, carers who cannot commit to full time hours are catered for, giving them both an outlet from their pressures of their duties and an income to help them cope with the additional financial burden they may face. The opportunity to take an unpaid career break of up to nine months could come in handy for people in all kinds of circumstance at many different stages in life, whether they’re wanting to see more of the world, get more in touch with themselves, pursue a passion or fulfil a lifetime ambition.

The extent of the provision of our policies was evident too. Paid time off for women undergoing IVF treatment and those undergoing assessment to become foster or adoptive parents. Then there’s our 24-hour confidential helpline that our people can call so they have the peace of mind in knowing there is always someone there they can reach out to, in whatever circumstances they find themselves. Together, these policies reveal the degree of thought that goes into making sure the support we give all of our staff is as comprehensive as possible.

Inside M&S