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Is Your Workplace ‘Woke’ Enough for Younger Workers?

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Article Submitted by – BrightHR CEO and HR expert Alan Price

With social justice and workplace inequality remaining a key issue in modern society, it is becoming increasingly apparent that younger workers want to work for an organisation that cares about these matters. Research carried out by international PR and communications organisation, Global Tolerance found that almost half of 2,000 millennials preferred organisations that have a positive impact on the world. With younger workers starting their career journeys now, it’s important that all organisations move with the times.

A significant area to consider is flexible working. Studies conducted by YouGov have highlighted that flexibility can be key in both attracting and retaining talent. The ability to work flexible hours allows employees a stronger work/life balance and assist employees in their outside commitments, such as raising a young family. As women can often find themselves taking prolonged career breaks to care for their children, this presents an alternative option that could help them not miss out on key opportunities at work and, potentially, reduce gender inequality in a company overall.

With that in mind, employers should also not underestimate the importance of family leave. Unfortunately, the modern workplace can still place host to continued stigmas associated with paternity leave, coming from a generational belief that men stay in work and do not take time off for childcare. It is important that companies work against this and make sure that employees are aware of their rights to take shared parental leave and paternity leave, which can again serve to take child caring pressure off working mothers. By actively encouraging the take up of paternity and shared parental leave, companies can demonstrate they will support working parents, something that can attract skilled individuals to their workforce that may otherwise have not shown interest.

By taking actions to demonstrate an awareness of social justice, companies can help to foster a positive external reputation and ultimately encourage younger individuals to join them. To further promote their commitment to this, companies may also consider contributing to local charity causes or taking public stands on key issues causing inequality in the modern workplace. They could also clearly outline how they intend to promote workplace equality, such as ensuring the take-up of family leave or flexible working, through a diversity statement.