New online toolkit helps small businesses grow

Close the Gap are pleased to announce the launch of their pilot project, Think Business, Think Equality. Funded by the Big Lottery Fund, the project’s focus is on helping small and medium sized businesses across Scotland to grow, by realising the business benefits of delivering fairness and equality in the workplace.

Think Business, Think Equality

Having fair and flexible working practices in place makes good business sense. Higher staff morale contributes to reduced absenteeism, enabling businesses to be more productive and innovative. Where staff feel valued, businesses are rewarded with increased loyalty and reduced staff turnover costs.

Businesses that promote gender equality are likely to be more profitable. Evidence shows that having increased in diversity enhances a company’s ability to market effectively to a wider customer base. Having a balance of male and female staff also delivers a positive corporate image, enabling businesses to attract and retain the best staff.

The recent extension to the right to request flexible working to cover all staff with 26 weeks’ service provides businesses with the ideal opportunity to review their current practices, and see how they might be improved.

Close the Gap’s experience has shown that, while many smaller businesses are largely positive about equality, they are concerned that this may be prove to be a complex, time-consuming and costly process. Think Business, Think Equality shows that this is not the case, and that making even a few small changes to your employment practice can allow your business to reap the benefits of gender equality.

Free online self-assessment tool

Think Business, Think Equality offers an easy to use online, self-assessment tool that allows businesses to reflect on their current practice and identify where they might make changes, or simply refresh, their current practice.

The tool focuses on five business topics: workplace culture; women’s jobs, men’s jobs; flexible working; pay and reward; and progression and promotion. Each topic area consists of a series of short questions, guidance, and additional information, and should take no longer than 30 minutes to complete. The guidance is also available to download at the end of each section, allowing employers to refer back to it whenever required. Participating businesses can also access free, confidential support or advice from Close the Gap throughout the duration of the pilot to help them identify where they can benefit from a more diverse workplace.

The toolkit is now available to use here

Further information on the project, and any requests for support can be emailed to:

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