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How insurance company Zurich UK boosted senior female job applications by 45% in three months

There has been a quarter increase in women applying for jobs since Zurich changed the way it advertises roles. Photo: Tim Gouw/Unsplash

Zurich UK has seen a massive increase in applications from women after changing the way it advertises job roles.

In March, the insurer began advertising every full-time job as a potential part-time role, job share or flexible working opportunity along with agile working.

This, coupled with the use of gender-neutral language in every job advertisement, has already generated significant change, according to the company.

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Just three months on, the business has seen a quarter increase in the number of women applying for jobs across all levels of the business.

This is particularly prominent around senior management roles, with a more pronounced increase of 45%.

The initiative was introduced following internal analysis of Zurich’s gender pay gap.

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The business worked with an external research agency to help identify the underlying causes of the gender pay gap and ways in which to reduce it.

The research highlighted the need to attract more women to senior and technical roles at Zurich.

Many of these roles have not previously being available on a part-time or flexible basis.

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Both new and existing Zurich employees now have the option to request to work on a part-time, job share or “flexwork” basis.

Nearly three quarters (72%) now enjoy this arrangement, with take-up agreed between individuals and their manager or team.

It sets out to empower employees to work where, when and how they choose to optimise productivity and well-being, and balance professional and personal commitments.

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When it comes to working part time, 11% of Zurich employees already do this and half of these opt for a four day week.

Steve Collinson, Head of HR Zurich UK, said: “We believe a culture of ‘last in the office’ is fairly antiquated, and by offering people the opportunity to work in a way that suits their personal circumstances we can open up a whole new talent pool.

“This isn’t just about attracting more women into senior positions, we want to give everyone the opportunity to pursue their chosen career regardless of their personal circumstances.

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“This could range from working mums, fathers with young children, people with dual careers or those with elderly or dependent relatives.

“We believe if you increase the number of part-time senior level roles, it radically changes the challenges businesses face when sourcing top talent.”