Synergy Learning Speaks Out on Actions for Women's Wellbeing in the Workplace

  • “We’ve made a commitment to make Synergy Learning a great place to work for everyone”: Tory Kerley from Synergy Learning shares the positive actions to address stereotypes and look after women in the workplace

    Society is quick to talk about the importance of workplace wellbeing. But it’s slower to talk about women’s wellbeing in the workplace specifically, and that’s a problem. 

    However, conversations are growing. In recent months, menopause, periods and caring responsibilities are just some of the issues that have been highlighted in the media in the UK and Ireland in relation to women’s health and the places they work.

    One article published last autumn claims that neglecting women’s health at work could cost the UK economy £20.2bn a year - that’s a serious loss. But what’s even more serious is the effect of this neglect on the women affected.

    So whilst discussions about women’s health at work are becoming less taboo, there is much more to be done as companies in the UK and Ireland seek to prioritise the females in their workforces, giving them true equity with their male colleagues.

    Synergy Learning’s Head of People, Performance and Culture, Tory Kerley is a passionate supporter of women in the workplace. Since she joined the company she’s been making sure that the company’s policies and benefits are fit for purpose for each and every employee.

    In recognition of International Women’s Day, Synergy Learning has shared some of the positive action it’s doing to address stereotypes and look after its female professionals. The initiatives are driven by Tory, but have been important to the company since its founding in 2005.

    “Gender diversity within our organisation is currently 13% above industry average for female tech workers and we've been supporting females in STEM since we started in 2005,” said Tory. “We believe it’s imperative that businesses, particularly in our industry, address their biases and implement strategies to celebrate and promote the females in their workforces in the same way they do males. 

    “It’s horrifying that just one study from the UK last year on women’s health and work found that 68% of women have dealt with gender-based health issues at some point in their career, and almost 29% felt their employers were not supportive. That has to change.

    “At the start of last year, we got our team together and refined our values. We took into consideration the range of experiences and perspectives we have at the company, and worked together to come up with three pillars that we stick to as professionals employed by Synergy Learning. 

    “What we came up with was ‘connect, create and wow’. We connect through seamless collaboration, we create with innovation and passion, and we consistently deliver wow by going beyond expectations, for our customers and with each other. That means that we’ve made a commitment to make Synergy Learning a great place to work, regardless of who people are.

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    “One of the ways we put this commitment into action is through our benefits package. At Synergy Learning, you receive tangible benefits from your very first day with us. They’re there for people to grab with both hands to make their lives at work and at home the best they can be. It’s been particularly important for us to establish our processes in this area as a business working in a typically male-dominated industry. 

    “Our remote-first working model, for instance, ensures that people have flexibility to complete their work around their lives at home. As caring responsibilities - whether these be for children or ageing parents - disproportionately fall on the shoulders of women, it’s their valuable expertise that is often lost in the workplace as women feel they cannot maintain 

    “That’s why it’s also been important for us to put compassionate and supportive family policies in place that take into consideration the unique circumstances that women face as they progress in their careers. We also offer wellbeing check-ins and extensive, confidential support (including financial) if it’s required, making people feel valued and understood no matter what their circumstances. 

    “We offer enhanced maternity leave for our employees, and also enhanced paternity leave, giving the partners of our male colleagues extra support during hugely significant life moments. 

    “And these are only the big ways we maintain our strong commitment to empowering women at work. In our everyday interactions as a team we support one another and ensure that people doing a good job are recognised and rewarded.” 

    “We ensure information, advice and guidance is up to date whilst also running monthly health-based webinars during working hours with topics ranging from menopause to gut health. The library at our Belfast Hub not only has books on business success, UX development  & novels from every genre, but also books like Period Power by Maise Hill & Menopausing by Davina McCall. Men and women need health-based information and guidance. We ensure our workplace is an open and unembarrassed environment to discuss issues that affect men, women and therefore society.”

    “This year’s International Women’s Day theme is ‘Inspire Inclusion’ and that’s exactly what we want to do, by celebrating and supporting women in tech, but also by laying a foundation of policies and wellbeing initiatives that serve them well. We’ve been on this journey for eighteen years, and we plan to keep pushing for diversity, equity and inclusion in any way we can.”

    Source: Written from press release 

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