Supporting Women in the Workplace

Despite making up half of the population women continue to be underrepresented in the workforce, more so in traditionally male-dominated industries and senior management. Yet with stifled talent translating to self-sabotage in terms of business and economic opportunities, inclusivity cannot be the reserve of policy and law. Workplace practices, cultures, and mentalities can still be improved.

The event

Join us as we explore ways to make workplaces more women friendly, support talent, and minimise the impact of unconscious bias. Further sessions will go on to discuss barriers to recruitment, retention and progression as well as ensuring women are getting the support they want.

Following the Scottish Government’s announcement in April 2017 that it would be doubling funding for Investing Women – an initiative which supports women-led businesses – this event will explore what organisations can do to attract, nurture, and develop more women in the workforce.

Key issues to be addressed

  • Employers’ legal duties to their employees
  • How to minimise gender inequality in your workforce
  • Practical measures to make workplaces more women friendly
  • The importance of culture change to attract and develop female talent


09:15 Registration and Refreshments

09:55 Welcome and Introduction by the Chair

Kate Connor, Kate Connor Consultancy

Session 1: Context and Legalities

  • Employers’ legal duties regarding workplace equality
  • Common reasons why discrimination complaints arise and how to avoid them

10:00 Jillian Merchant, Employment Lawyer, Thompsons Solicitors Scotland

10:20 How the ASB is supporting professional and personal development, and celebrating success amongst Scottish businesswomen

  • Supporting professional and personal development via our conferences and events
  • Women’s mentoring
  • Celebrating success through our National Business Awards and Women of Inspiration Awards

Wendy Maltman, Creative Director, The Malting House Design Studio and President, Association of Scottish Businesswomen (ASB)

10:40 Questions and Discussion

11:00 Refreshments and Networking

Session 2: Culture Change

  • Supporting women in male-dominated industries
  • Tackling barriers: from gender myths to lingering pay imbalance
  • The kind of support women want
  • Establishing best practice and eliminating barriers to flexible working and maternity

11:20 Women in the Workplace – Separating Myth from Reality

While women’s participation in the workforce has been on the rise, women’s career progression, representation at senior levels, and retention is still strikingly low. There is growing awareness of gender equality but myths about women’s career experience and advancement are continuously perpetuated. By debunking these myths with rigorous research data, and moving away from a culture of trying to ‘fix’ women, we can start to address the systemic factors holding women back.

Allyson Zimmermann, Executive Director, Catalyst Europe

11:40 Talat Yaqoob, Director, Equate Scotland

12:00 Gender Pay Gap Reporting: One small step or a giant leap forward for women?

  • Why reporting matters
  • Lessons from pay gap reporting in the Scottish public sector
  • Will the new regulations close the pay gap?

Anna Ritchie Allan, Executive Director, Close the Gap

12:20 Questions and Discussion

12:50 Lunch and Networking

Session 3: Good Practice and Case Studies

  • Top-down and grassroots initiatives to ensure whole organisation approaches to equality
  • Attracting more women workers through cultural and policy shifts.
  • Ensuring women are recruited and seen to progress
  • Barriers employers face when creating women friendly workplaces

13:30 The role of employers in the mental wellbeing of pregnant women and new mothers

  • Why should employers consider the impact of mental illness in pregnant women and new mothers?
  • What can employers do to support pregnant women and new mothers?

Catherine Thomas, Head of Partnerships and Philanthropy, Aberlour

13:50 Alan Thornburrow, Director, Business in the Community Scotland

14:10 Challenges and Solutions for Hiring Women on a Career Break

Hazel Little, Lead Coach, Women Returners Scotland

14.30 Questions and Discussion

15:00 Close of Event

*Agenda subject to change


NASUWT, 35 Young Street North Lane, Edinburgh, EH2 4JD 


Delegate rates (excluding VAT)

  • Discounted rate: 1 place £145 + VAT (Voluntary / charitable organisations with an annual income of less than £1m)
  • Reduced rate: 1 place £245 + VAT | 2+ places £195 + VAT (Central government departments and agencies, local authorities, universities, colleges, NHS, police, professional associations and voluntary / charitable organisations with an annual income over £1m)
  • Full rate: 1 place £295 + VAT | 2+ places £245 + VAT (Commercial organisations e.g. plc, Ltd, LLP)

For more information please email or phone 0131 285 1635

26 September 2017
United Kingdom

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