Companies should put at least two women on every job shortlist to improve gender equality, according to official guidelines.
The Government Equalities Office is also urging firms to appoint diversity managers and diversity task forces.
Officials say the 12-page report – called ‘reducing the gender pay gap and improving gender equality in organisation’ – is a summary of the best evidence on how to help women in the workplace.
The guidance says one woman on a shortlist is not enough and two are needed to increase the chance of a woman being selected.
The guidance says one woman on a shortlist is not enough and two are needed to increase the chance of a woman being selected. File photo
It says employers should encourage women to negotiate their salaries by showing the pay range available for the post.
Firms should set time-specific targets for achieving pay equality while monitoring recruitment and promotion would reduce ‘biased decisions’ by managers.
But Kate Andrews, of the Institute of Economic Affairs think-tank, said the move encouraged ‘box-ticking exercises’ and was unlikely to actually help women.
‘Increased diversity is good for companies, and good for their profits. If firms think it’s worthwhile to invest their resources into diversity training or management, that is what they should do,’ she added.
‘But implementing a diversity task force for