The British High Commission, Singapore Commits to a #GenderPledge on International Women’s Day 2019

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Gender Pledge Social Media Image

The British High Commission, Singapore committed to a new Gender Pledge on International Women’s Day, on 8 March 2019, as part of the social media campaign, #GenderPledge, led by the Canadian High Commission in Singapore, to raise awareness about the ways that organisations, businesses and even individuals can incorporate gender equality and women’s empowerment into the way that they operate.

The United Kingdom is committed to advancing gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls, including the promotion and protection of their human rights. In the United Kingdom and many other countries, gender equality is recognised as a human right and an essential component of peace, security, development, and economic prosperity. The UK’s Equality Act of 2010 protects people in the UK from discrimination (at work or in wider society) based on sex, age, marital status, being pregnant or on maternity leave, race, religion or belief, disability, sexual orientation or gender reassignment.

Gender equality must not only be affirmed in policy but implemented in practice. This gender pledge sets out specific commitments and key actions on gender equality for the British High Commission in Singapore. Achieving gender equality is everyone’s responsibility. The British High Commission’s gender pledge is therefore approved by the High Commissioner and implementation is the shared responsibility of all staff.

Our Gender Pledge

Workplace Culture and Hiring Practices

  • The British High Commission (“the BHC”) is mindful of gender balance within divisions/departments, sections and job grades.
  • Where a serious imbalance exists, the BHC will ensure that in recruitment applicants from the underrepresented sex are encouraged to apply.
  • In job specifications, we will avoid language which might indicate gender stereotyping.
  • We will enforce a zero-tolerance policy on sexual harassment. Employees are encouraged to report sexual harassment and provided with a confidential mechanism to do so.
  • We support staff who require flexible work arrangements.
  • We support short-term resourcing gaps with ‘returnships’, which help to re-integrate back into the BHC those who have taken a career break (e.g. parents who have taken a few years out to raise their children).
  • We are a family-friendly workplace and have a relaxation/breastfeeding room.
  • We have an active Diversity and Inclusion Committee with a Charter in place that fosters and promotes the best practices of accepting, respecting and valuing differences, including gender, among staff.
  • We will seek training opportunities to equip staff with the tools needed to integrate gender equality into their work. This includes teaming up with the Canadian High Commission to understand their GBA+ (Gender-based Analysis Plus) analytic process as well as training on unconscious bias.
  • By the end of 2019, we will partner with organisations or businesses which champion gender equality and gender mainstreaming with a view to benchmarking the BHC’s processes and sharing best practices.
  • By the end of this month, we will ensure all staff have access to a diversity toolkit and by 2020, we will implement diversity awareness training and will include specific resources on gender. These will be included in the Induction and Probation programme.
  • By 2020, all staff will have undertaken gender mainstreaming training.

Events Management and VIP visits

  • We will ensure all public events organised by the BHC have balanced gender representation.
  • We will challenge event organisers to strive for balanced gender representation and decline to participate on speaker panels where good faith efforts have not been made to that end.
  • We will aim to ensure equitable allocation of speaking time and roles between men and women.
  • The BHC advocates for all official UK delegations to Singapore to have balanced gender representation.
  • Where the BHC is organising and funding a delegation’s travel to Singapore, it will strive for balanced gender representation on those delegations.

Partnerships and Business Collaborations

  • We will regularly engage institutions, partners and businesses to promote gender equality in their workplaces.
  • We will support events that promote gender equality.
  • We will organise or support at least two events per year focused solely on gender equality awareness.

Communications

  • We will highlight the UK’s commitment to gender equality in communication materials.
  • We will ensure visuals and photos in communication materials have appropriate gender balance.
  • We will avoid unnecessary gendered terminology in our communications.
  • We will communicate gender equality milestones on social media platforms as and when appropriate.

Gender Equality Champions

  • Our Diversity and Inclusion Committee will appoint a gender equality champion who will be responsible for providing guidance on enhancing gender equality at the Mission and tracking progress on the implementation of the gender pledge.
  • The High Commissioner and the Deputy High Commissioner, will regularly review our Gender Pledge Commitments in consultation with the Diversity and Inclusion Committee and BHC staff.

We hope that you will join the campaign by making your own #GenderPledge! Please feel free to like and share our pledge, which will be posted on our Twitter and Facebook.

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