Issue - meetings

Discussion Paper - Supporting Women in the Workplace

Meeting: 21/09/2022 - Joint Staff Consultative Committee (Item 44)


To receive a discussion paper on Supporting Women in the Workplace


RESOLVED: That the Committee note the Strategic Discussion Paper on Supporting Women in the Workplace



Audio recording – 14:13


The following Members and representatives took part in the discussion


·        Councillor Elizabeth Dennis-Harburg

·        Councillor Claire Strong

·        Councillor Tom Plater

·        Debbie Ealand

·        Councillor Tony Hunter

·        Rebecca Webb


Points raised in the discussion included:


·        There should be more information regarding hysterectomies and the recovery and support for this

·        It is worth noting that none of the potential absences listed within the paper trigger the HR return to work forms which is good

·        There needs to be support pre and post absence and referencing the mental health toll this may have

·        There should be another session within the inclusion group around women’s health issues within the workplace to give added visibility

·        The boxes within DCO toilets are now regularly stocked with sanitary products which is positive and normalises periods which isn’t often done. Women should feel like they can come forward and talk and there should be more support in this, especially if they have a male manager.

·        It is good that people know they have people to talk to and we should make sure that managers of all levels, both men and women, are being kind

·        There should be a point of reference or a few people that are highlighted for women to talk to. Women should feel like they have a safe space to talk and want support but don’t want it to feel formal. This goes for all protected characteristics.

·        We have mental health champions so why can’t we have women’s champions and hopefully this can be taken forward

·        There should be a women’s forum on the intranet, this can be circulated in internal emails so people have access to knowledge. This would be useful to Councillors too that need support

·        The back door of the women’s toilets is a good place to get women’s attention so there should be information on the back of these. If they don’t want a poster they should have a permanent sticker to remind women they aren’t alone.

·        The posters should highlight things such as women’s health issues and raise awareness.

·        Breast awareness is not on the document so this could be looked at in the future as women need to check themselves and things such as fibrous tissue which isn’t always cancerous can cause distress

·        There is a lot on men that needs to be highlighted as well, as a lot of these things also apply to men so there needs to be another piece of work on mens health and mental health topics

·        Hopefully these discussions and information will create a more friendly and supportive environment for women


In response to questions, Debbie Ealand and Rebecca Webb advised:


·        If a woman does have a male manager and doesn’t feel comfortable talking to them, there are many female managers that they can talk to. Additionally, the people who attend the inclusion group have made themselves available to be people they can talk to. This goes for every protected characteristics, not just women.

·        There is a lot of good ideas  ...  view the full minutes text for item 44