Diversity & Inclusion

Why does Enterprise’s commitment to gender diversity inclusion matter?

Opportunity Now empowers employers to accelerate change for women in the workplace.

Working with a membership of employers, Opportunity Now offers tailored, practical and pragmatic advice on workplace issues.

Kathryn Nawrockyi, Acting Director of Opportunity Now

Founded in 1991, the original aim of Opportunity Now was to maximise the potential of female employees and improve their recruitment and retention prior to the start of the new millennium. Nearly 20 years on the need for the work of Opportunity Now is just as strong.

In her own words, Kathryn Nawrockyi, Acting Director of Opportunity Now, explains why ERAC’s commitment to gender diversity inclusion matters to each and every employee.

It’s the 21st century – why is it still important to talk about gender equality? The issue of women’s representation in work has increasingly become a focus for government, media and employers – from the publication of Lord Davies’ review and budget measures that support the cost of childcare, to prominent newspapers and broadcasters dedicating significant resource and editorial to the issue.

You might be wondering why we are still talking about the ‘gender agenda’ - and why does it affect me?

The unfortunate reality is that despite significant progress, “we” (campaigners on this issue, both male and female) mustn’t be complacent. Women make up 47% of the UK workforce, yet women still face a 9.6% pay gap. This gap increases with age - at age 40, the full-time pay gap between men and women in the UK is 27%.

The average woman working full-time from the age of 18 to 59 years will lose £361,000 in gross earnings over her working life, when compared to her male counterparts. At age twenty, 5% of men and women are in management positions, yet by age 45, 23% for men, and just 11% women of women are in management positions.

When it comes to earning potential it is clear that women are missing out – at every level of the workforce.

This affects us all, regardless of our gender, because it affects the women we know - a parent, sibling, partner, daughter or a friend.

Who are Opportunity Now and what is the link to Enterprise Rent-A- Car? Opportunity Now is the gender equality campaign from Business in the Community, which stands for responsible business. Opportunity Now believes that removing the barriers which prevent women from participating in the labour market as fully as men is good for women, good for employers, good for society and good for the UK economy.

We work with more than 300 UK and international organisations, including Enterprise Rent-A-Car, to help them to understand what the barriers are to women within their organisation, to define their priorities in this area, and to unlock the potential of their people and teams, equally.

We also celebrate and share best practice through our annual Excellence in Best Practice Awards, Gender and Race Benchmark and partnership with The Times’ Top 50 Employers for Women list (which we manage and judge).

These accolades encourage employers to challenge their recruitment and progression processes and to constantly strive to do better. And, I’ll admit, a little healthy competition between employers never hurt anyone!

An employer for women in a male-dominated industry Enterprise Rent-A-Car recognises the challenge it faces, yet doesn’t shy away from this. Quite the opposite; it is committed to attracting, selecting and developing top female talent.

Enterprise Rent-A-Car has more than 3,299 employees, based at 370 locations across the whole country. 33% of you are women, and 31% of managers and 21% senior managers are women.

In addition, your organisation has been included in The Times Top 50 Employers for Women list for three years running, and is one of the Top 10 Organisations for Gender (from our 2012 Benchmark). Leigh Lafever-Ayer, Director of HR for UK/Ireland, was also shortlisted in our Directing Diverse Talent Award in 2012 for her drive and achievements in diversity across the organisation.

These achievements are one of the clearest indicators to current and future employees that Enterprise Rent-A-Car has an inclusive culture that wants its female employees to achieve their full potential according to their ambition.

What does this mean to you? This isn’t just about women on boards; it’s about enabling women to enter the workforce at any level and to progress on an equal basis to men, and being assured of receiving unbiased reward & recognition throughout their career.

As an individual employee at Enterprise Rent-A-Car I can imagine you might be thinking, “what does this mean for me?”.

It means that regardless of whether you are in a large or a small Rental space, if you want to develop professionally and/or progress, Enterprise Rent-A-Car has the processes set up to support you in your ambition.

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