Royal Mail can trace its history back to the time of Henry VIII and is used to changing with the times. One of the areas where this is especially true is on the issue of gender diversity. Women have traditionally been underrepresented in the industry and Royal Mail wants to change that. While turnover rates remain low at less than four per cent, the number of women in the business has grown in recent years, demonstrating how small changes can make a big difference.

As a business, Royal Mail believes that its workforce should be reflective of the customers and communities it serves. Head of Operational Systems for Royal Mail Group, Anna Gray, says improving gender and BAME diversity is a priority.

“If Royal Mail started today, I think the employee demographic would be very different” says Gray.

“Every business must analyse its talent pipeline and look at where it can help retain women and provide support"
- Anna Gray

Gray is an Oxford graduate who joined the business as a temporary member of staff 12 years ago and has worked her way up through the organisation.

“Things are changing, thanks to our thriving Women’s Networks that help with career progression and personal development. We also have The Springboard and Spring Forward Women’s Development Programmes.”

SpringBoard allows women in front line and junior admin roles to assess their current situation, decide their next steps for personal and work development and aims to equip individuals with the confidence and skills needed to take these steps. The programme not only aims to help women reach their full potential but also aims to make Royal Mail an employer of choice for those joining the workforce in the next five years.

Spring Forward allows participants in front line management roles to look at their career and personal development plans. They find coaching and mentoring support to match their aspirations gaining valuable experience and insight which enables them to succeed in their career.

Gray says, “Every business must analyse its talent pipeline and look at where it can help retain women and provide support. We have our own Gender Diversity Steering Group, for example, and one of the things we identified early on is that designing recruitment ads that show the varied roles women hold in Royal Mail is an important part of enhancing gender diversity throughout the organisation”.

“In our recruitment campaigns we work across multiple media channels as well as job centres and universities, in order to raise the profile of Royal Mail as a great place to build a career. We are keen to capture the interest of those who may not otherwise have considered applying for roles in Operations, Commercial and Professional functions or on our Graduate and Apprentice programmes.” says Gray. “We aim to promote the career opportunities available and show how Royal Mail is taking gender diversity seriously.”