MPs demand inclusive intersectional workplaces

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The Women and Work All-Party Parliamentary Group is calling on businesses and employers to make workplaces more inclusive

Cross-party MPs have asked employers to recognise an employee’s race, religion, class, disability or sexual orientation as well as their gender when considering workplace support.

The group’s report and toolkit, Inclusivity and Intersectionality, stressed that a focus on gender alone fails to recognise the varying challenges women face.

It concluded that it was only through acknowledging and recognising different intersections that a diverse workplace can be built to support and empower all women.

Jess Phillips, Labour MP and co-chair of the Women and Work APPG, said: “Too often we see marginalised women overlooked by mainstream discourse on how to support women in the workplace.

“It is clear that the key to building a more inclusive workplace is to recognise these intersections: there is much more to our identities than just being women.

“Whether it’s supporting carers, new mothers, BAME women, the self-employed or women with disabilities, this toolkit equips employers with the tools necessary to cultivate inclusive work practices, which ultimately benefit everyone.”

The toolkit included policy recommendations for the government to support employers making changes in light of intersectionality.

It suggested the government should, with the help of business and specialist groups, convene a ‘Good Work’ taskforce that works across government departments to examine how to make work inclusive and accessible for all.

The report also included suggestions on how to make workplaces more transparent and aware of employee mental health and wellbeing.

The Women and Work APPG is co-chaired by Conservative MP for Chichester Gillian Keegan and MP for Birmingham Yardley Jess Phillips.

It was established at the beginning of 2016 in response to an increasing public and political focus on the role of women in the workforce, and an acknowledgement from the government that the UK economy underuses women’s talents and misses out on a “huge economic prize”.

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