It’s been 15 months since the government published its equality strategy Building a Fairer Britain and since then its efforts at tackling discrimination and opening up opportunities has been “paying dividends” according to the latest progress report.
The original publication set out new ways of dealing with inequality in society by recognising specific problems and focusing on specific actions to deal with them. It identified five key priority areas, one of which was creating a fair and flexible labour market.
Now the progress document notes that these new approaches are “bearing fruit” and helping to ensure that UK employers make the most of the skills, experience and talents of all the country’s citizens, and that employees are able to break through any barriers that exist.
It points out that particularly good progress has been made with regard to women in senior positions. Indeed, since February 2011 the percentage of women being appointed to FTSE 100 boards has doubled.
The report also states that changes to working patterns are helping to open up opportunities for many people and contributing to a fairer and more accessible workplace for all, with flexible and remote working policies being widely adopted by employers.
In addition to gender equality, progress has been made in relation to equal pay and flexibility for older workers who wish to continue advancing their careers after they reach the default retirement age.
Equalities minister Lynne Featherstone said: “Effective equalities policy works with the grain of human nature, not against it. That’s why we abandoned the last government’s approach of simply trying to dictate how people should behave.
“Instead, we’re putting in place an architecture to support businesses, organisations and individuals to do the right thing. This one-year-on evaluation shows that the new approach is already paying off.”