The London Boroughs Women’s Network has been set up to “amplify the voices of all women” in London local authorities and co-ordinate action towards shared priorities.
It is a collaboration between all 32 London boroughs and the City of London Corporation.
The Network’s development has been led by Tower Hamlets Council and aims to support and champion the wellbeing of female staff, tackle issues and inequalities women face in the workplace, and raise awareness around women’s health issues, as well as working for a safer London for all women and girls.
Overall, 56 percent of all London borough staff are women, “but women still face shared concerns including career development, health, care responsibilities, safety, and more recently, the disproportionate impact of the pandemic on women,” said a statement from London Councils, a cross-party organisation that represents London’s boroughs.
Will Tuckley, Chief Executive of Tower Hamlets Council, is sponsor of the network, and Jenny Rowlands, Chief Executive of Camden and Helen Bailey, Chief Executive of Sutton, are co-sponsors.
Bailey said: “I hope that the network will inspire female colleagues across London, and that even more fantastic women will be enthusiastic to work in local government and to pursue successful and exciting careers.”
Tuckley commented: “It is great to see female colleagues across all the local authorities in London work together voluntarily and develop the Network so far. I hope the network will serve as a platform for colleagues to deepen their discussion around gender equalities and share ideas and activities.”
The network launched ahead of International Women’s Day today which has the theme ‘Break The Bias’.
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan also announced a menopause policy which will put in place practical steps to better support women going through menopause transition at City Hall, and introduce measures to “shift perceptions” surrounding menopause in the workplace.
The policy recognises the long-term effects of the menopause, and that staff experiencing it are entitled to request suitable support and workplace adjustments – for example, related to temperature, tasks and time off.
The policy, part of Khan’s manifesto, also outlines that all staff are responsible for having a general awareness of menopause issues, and to challenge inappropriate behaviour or derogatory remarks about the menopause.
Khan said: “By opening up this conversation, I want to show that a workplace discussion about menopause is normal, and that we can remove the stigma around those experiencing the menopause. I want to encourage all other employers across London and the country to learn from our approach and follow suit.”
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