Statutory body the Equality & Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has appointed 23red to lead a campaign to help reduce pregnancy and maternity discrimination in the workplace, following a pitch.
The agency will be working on two strands of the initiative that will attempt to address the gap between an employer’s perceptions that they are doing the right thing and the negativity experienced by many women in the work place.
The first of the two strands, going live on in May, will focus on young women aged 16 to 25. To appeal to their younger audience, 23red has teamed up with vloggers to empower young women to stand up for their rights.
The second strand will bring together different businesses, working with organisations which already have best practice policies in place to lead the rest of their industry by example and encourage others to join the movement for greater equality at work.
Recent research conducted by the EHRC and The Department for Business, Innovation & Skills suggests that around 54,000 new mothers may be forced out of their jobs in the UK each year.
These findings are based on a survey in which 11% of the women interviewed reported having been dismissed, made compulsorily redundant where others in their workplace were not, or treated so poorly they felt they had to leave their jobs.
While 84% of employers believe that supporting pregnant workers and those on maternity leave is in the interests of their organisations, the research also found that 1 in 5 new mothers experienced harassment or negative comments from their colleagues, employer or manager when pregnant or returning from maternity leave.
EHRC director of communications Ben Wilson said: “We cannot ignore the scale of the hidden discrimination that many working mothers still face and this campaign aims to make workplaces fairer for everyone. Given their experience on high-profile behaviour change campaigns, we are very pleased to be working with 23red on this issue.”
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