Gender balance is something that happens over the long term and the real challenge, especially for SMEs, is the practicalities, how do you achieve?
These are good starting points:
- Start with what you have and then improve
- Offer flexible working - it is not only women who needs. There is stigma attached to men taking time off work to look after their children. Flexibility is a critical career enabler to retain talent.
- Ask your employees what they value and listen - these can provide a platform to build an appropriate reward strategy and targeted benefits, so you get the most value out of your investment
- Lead by example - the senior team needs to show flexible working/flexibility in practice so that employees can relate, showing being "human", taking holidays etc.
Keep it simple but visible: whatever you decide to offer, ensure that it is available to everyone and is communicated fully to the whole business.