Renfrewshire Council

Supporting women in the workplace

We are celebrating Women's History Month (1 - 31 March), by highlighting some of the key work we are doing to support gender equality, work- life balance and women's health and wellbeing.

Our recent work 

Our gender pay gap is decreasing and over the last eight years it has reduced by 4.38% to just 0.48%*. This has been achieved through a revised pay and grading model for approximately 6000 colleagues which consolidated the Scottish Local Government living wage into our pay model as the minimum hourly rate of pay, together with our ongoing service redesigns.  

In 2023, we partnered with Inclusive Employers to better understand our culture and staff experiences at Renfrewshire Council. Feedback from the Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion survey and focus groups showed that women feel positive about working here and are supported and valued at work.  Areas of good practice highlighted include our menopause support, pregnancy loss support, unpaid working carers network and family friendly policies. 

We recently launched our new menopause policy and signed a pledge to ensure all colleagues experiencing menopause feel fully supported at work. We now offer up to five days paid leave per year, together with a range of RenTalks information sessions and resources covering topics including health, nutrition, lifestyle and wellbeing. These will continue this year and we will also introduce a menopause support network, see below. 

Listening to feedback, we wanted to provide more help to colleagues affected by pregnancy loss. We developed a new policy, aligned to standards set by the Miscarriage Association, and now offer up to two weeks fully paid leave to support women and families during this difficult, but sadly not uncommon, bereavement.  

We recognise that domestic abuse has a devastating impact on individuals and their families. To demonstrate our commitment to a zero-tolerance approach to all forms of domestic abuse - psychological and physical - we have formally introduced a policy to support colleagues across the council. We offer up to 10 days paid leave for colleagues to seek help for themselves and their families. View our domestic abuse policy on our intranet site.  

Women are more likely to take breaks in their career to fulfil caring responsibilities which may impact their pension contributions. Together with our Carers Policy which offers up to one week's paid leave for our unpaid working carers, our Carers Connected Forum and flexible workplace practices have achieved the 'Exemplary' level of Carer Positive in recognition of our positive support for working carers.  

Looking ahead 

We will continue to review and develop our policies and approach to ensure we live our values as an inclusive employer. Our new five-year equality, diversity and inclusion action plan has now been approved and we look forward to sharing this with you soon. 

In the meantime, here's some of the activities we're focusing on this year:   

Women's health RenTalks, Ruth Devlin & Dr Becky Smithson, Thursday 2 May, 10am 

This interactive session offers an holistic view of women's health and wellbeing with discussion on a range of topics including stress management, improved sleep, nutritional advice, and reproductive health issues including endometriosis, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), and premature menopause.  

Menopause Support Network 

We're working on how to support you to meet and share experiences of perimenopause and menopause. Look out for more details coming soon.  

Mental Health First Aiders 

We're continuing to grow our dedicated team of mental health first aiders who are trained to offer support, in confidence, to colleagues across all services. Whether you need a friendly ear to talk about something you are worried about or a little extra guidance and advice, they will listen without judgement and help you find the support you need. Look out for colleagues wearing the purple lanyard or visit our webpage Mental health first aid for staff - Renfrewshire Website.
Don't forget, we have a range of policies to help with your work-life balance. These are available to view on our intranet site and include: 

*Source: Progress report (14 September 2023) on the Council's People Strategy 'Our People Our Future 2021-2026'.


Published Thursday 28 March 2024