Diversity & Inclusion

Gender balance at Flex-E-Rent

Gender equality in the workplace is under the microscope more than ever before. Companies are scrutinising their workforce to ensure women are paid equally with their male counterparts, that there is equal male and female representation in all levels, and that women are encouraged to achieve their full potential.

Paralympian Megan Giglia with Tom Macdonald, Jamie Atkinson, Danny Glynn, Charlotte Jones and Rachel Clerkin celebrating IWD 2018 at Enterprise Flex-E-Rent

Paralympian Megan Giglia with Tom Macdonald, Jamie Atkinson, Danny Glynn, Charlotte Jones and Rachel Clerkin celebrating IWD 2018 at Enterprise Flex-E-Rent

And so it is at Flex-E-Rent! The team has worked hard since becoming part of the Enterprise family to develop and encourage female talent in the business. Data from 2012 to 2018 shows that good progress has been made.

  • Percentage of female employees is now 30.2% overall for group UB (up from 26% in 2012)
  • Percentage of Level II females has almost trebled and is now 32.3% (12.7% in 2012)
  • Percentage of Level III females has also almost trebled and is now 19.4% (7% in 2012)

This has been the result of a change in group strategy from 2014, when the approach was adapted to attract female employees into Level II and III positions. Training manuals were introduced for rental desk, fleet maintenance and DRU roles (similar to the Rent-A-Car Management Training development manuals). These provided guidance on skills development for Level I employees within 12 months, and ensured that all employees were offered the same development opportunities.

Tom MacDonald, talent development manager at Flex-E-Rent, developed workshops and training that both encourages and prepares Level II employees for Level III roles. These range from leadership and motivation, negotiating skills, delegation and time management, all designed to build confidence and leadership potential. With planned growth and new depot openings within the group, we hope to be able to fill the upcoming vacancies internally and continue to recruit women into entry level roles.

A recent example of the success of the Flex-E-Rent strategy is the promotion of Zara Wainwright. Zara joined the group in March 2015 as a fleet maintenance coordinator, based at the head office in Shrewsbury, where she maintained the LCV and HGV fleet for the Coventry depot. She completed her training manual, and was promoted to senior fleet coordinator, and moved on to manage one of our key accounts.

In September 2017, as part of a planned development programme, she began supervising the newly formed incident & defect team in the FBS contact centre in Shrewsbury. She was assigned projects as part of her sign off programme for Level II including working to develop a major customer. In January she completed her sign off and was promoted to Level II maintenance supervisor.

There are other examples of women forging great careers at Flex-E-Rent. The successes show the commitment by Flex-E-Rent to achieve a more gender balanced workplace, and to ensure that every employee is offered the same opportunities. There is still work to do, and with continued investment and development of female employees into senior positions, the future is definitely gender balanced.

by Andrew Kendall

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