More than 30 of county’s firms sign gender balance pledge

Michelle Pollard of Ipswich recruitment firm Spider

Michelle Pollard of Spider recruitment said the pledge recognised the importance of gender balance in the workplace - Credit: Cherry Beesley/Simply C Photography

Big Suffolk employers including Associated British Ports, East of England Co-op and construction company Kier have signed a pledge to address gender balance in the workforce. 

Suffolk Chamber of Commerce is calling on more companies to support to support better gender equality in the workplace through the pledge, which has already been signed by more than 30 companies.

Once they sign up, they can gain additional support from the chamber to help them reach their full potential by benefiting from the skills and talents of a diverse workforce, including interactive workshops and discussions.

The initiative calls for businesses to examine the gender balance within their workplaces and to actively support the removal of barriers faced by employees at major points of career development and life changes. 

Mark Tyldesley, managing director of Stowmarket-based malt firm Muntons and board member of Suffolk Chamber’s Suffolk Business Women, helped draw up the pledge.

“Muntons is committed to advancing equality in our business, and I have been proud to have been able to support Suffolk Chamber in shaping the pledge to highlight businesses who want to publicly commit their support of actively advancing gender equality, to improve the outcomes of all their staff,” he said.

Michelle Pollard, managing director of Ipswich online recruitment advertiser Spider and chair of Suffolk Chamber’s Suffolk Business Women, 
said: “By signing up to this pledge, this will help local businesses who recognise the importance of creating a balance within the workplace, particularly at a senior and board level, and ensure we make the most of the talent available in our county.”

Amanda Ankin, operations director at Suffolk Chamber of Commerce said: “This is an ambitious new target for Suffolk Chamber and we strongly believe that a more diverse workplace will deliver better results for Suffolk and for Suffolk businesses’ competitiveness in future years.”

If any business would like to be recognised as a supporter of gender diversity in the workplace, they can sign up to Suffolk Chamber’s Gender Equality in Business Pledge here