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Royal Mail Group has been recognised for its commitment to gender equality in the workplace as it has been named in The Times’ Top 50 Employers for Women.

The company has earned the prestigious ranking, which has been announced Thursday, April 3rd. The list was compiled in conjunction with Opportunity Now by Business in the Community.

This recognition is the result of a greater focus across the company and with Royal Mail’s unions, to support the career progression and development of women, from front line workers to senior managers.

This has been underpinned by a number of schemes and initiatives that have been implemented over the last nine years. This includes:

The Springboard Women’s Development Programme was introduced in 2005. It offers non-management female employees a series of workshops aimed at boosting confidence and encouraging them to progress their careers.  The scheme has resulted in a number of participants being empowered to take on additional responsibilities.

A Women’s Networks and Mentoring Scheme was launched in 2012 to support and provide guidance to women who are already in management positions.  There are over 90 senior managers mentoring junior female managers across the company.

The Executive Leadership Programme began in 2012. It is a flagship development programme for leaders in the organisation, run in conjunction with the University of Oxford. The scheme is designed so there are an equal number of female and male attendees.

The Outreach Programme was introduced in 2013 to attract more females into the company from students at universities and colleges. This involves senior managers attending external recruitment events to explain the roles our organisation can offer and the various schemes available. We have apprentice schemes and a Senior Talent Entry Programme which both actively encourage female applications.

In addition, Royal Mail commissioned an external review of its recruitment processes in 2012 and refreshed the language in job descriptions and the approaches to encourage applications from women.

The company has undertaken these schemes to aid greater gender equality and to ensure women across the workforce have the opportunity to achieve their career potential.

Royal Mail’s Chief Executive Officer, Moya Greene, said: “Supporting and empowering women is making a real difference to our business. This recognition reflects the hard work of many people across the company to ensure greater gender equality across our workforce.

“We are pleased with the progress that we are seeing from the schemes and initiatives we have put in place. We look forward to building on these successes in the future.”

Royal Mail’s Chief Operations Officer, Sue Whalley, who chairs the company’s Gender Diversity Steering Group, added: “We are delighted to have been named in The Times’ Top 50 Employers for Women. It is a prestigious title to have earned and recognises our commitment to supporting the career development and progression of women across the company.

“We want our workforce to reflect the diverse communities we serve and ensure our people are able to achieve their full potential in order to improve the way we run the business and serve our customers.

“We believe that gender diversity across all levels and roles will help us deliver our business objectives and underpin cultural change.”

Last year, Royal Mail was recognised for its commitment to gender diversity, winning three prestigious awards. The company achieved the ‘Gold’ standard after being named in Business in the Community’s Top 10 Private Sector Organisations for Gender. This took into account factors such as gender equality, learning and development, equal pay, and career progression.

In November 2013, Royal Mail was recognised at the’s Top Employer Awards for encouraging career progression for mothers. In September 2013, Royal Mail was named Company of the Year at the Women in Logistics Awards.

Kathryn Nawrockyi, Director of Opportunity Now, commented: “Congratulations to Royal Mail on being included in The Times Top 50 Employers for Women 2014. The standard of entries was incredibly high once again, and they should be hugely proud of their success. They are a great example of strong leadership; of how putting gender equality at the core of a business can create real, sustainable change for women, organisations and society as a whole. I hope other employers will be inspired by their work and use it to accelerate progress for women in their workforce.”