Belfast Harbour is one of ten leading Northern Ireland organisations committing to tackle the gender imbalance in its workplace over a three-year period through Business in the Community’s (BITC) – The Gender Project – launched this week.
The Gender Project is a unique business-led collaboration of companies committed to better gender balance at all levels of organisations. The Gender Project aims to offer a practical and structured approach that will support businesses working together to increase gender diversity, shift workplace behaviours and create enabling workplaces for men and women.
Employing 130 people locally, Belfast Harbour understands the business benefits of having a strong gender balance in the workplace.
Patricia Toolan, HR Director explains:
“Workplace equality and diversity is a key boardroom agenda item and we are committed to tackling it head on. Evidence indicates that companies with a diverse workforce are ones that have the best ideas, best people and best opportunity to thrive – all key goals for Belfast Harbour. There is a determination, right from the top of our organisation, to ensure we achieve a cultural and lasting shift in this area and firmly believe The Gender Project will help us make lasting changes as we work with, and learn from, other businesses over the duration of the project.”
Business in the Community champions and challenges businesses to act responsibly. It’s Chair, Roy Adair, Chief Executive, Belfast Harbour explains:
"Achieving a more gender-balanced workplace creates efficiency savings, enhances employee engagement, boosts productivity, meets the diverse needs of customers and suppliers and improves brand reputation. Last year, we carried out a substantial piece of research, surveying over 25,000 people - the largest ever UK study of women at work - through our UK-based Opportunity Now team which resulted in the Project 28 – 40 report. It provided invaluable evidence of career hopes, fulfilments and challenges, providing compelling evidence of workplace progression and the stumbling blocks encountered.”