Brewer and pub operator Greene King has launched a drive to increase the number of its landladies by branding the women in its leased and tenanted estate as "public housewives".
The 2,000-strong pub company wants to build on the increasing number of women looking to run a pub, a trend driven by the post-smoking ban focus on family-friendly and clean pubs with safer and calmer environments.
"I'd like to see more women take the step," said Caroline Hollings, training and recruitment director at Greene King.
Just 13% of Greene King's main licence holders are women.
Paul West, managing director at Ignite Marketing, welcomed the move to increase the proportion of female employees in the traditionally male-dominated pub industry. "Greene King is doing the right thing because the pub industry is changing dramatically, becoming more family-friendly and food-orientated," he said. "It would benefit the industry to recruit from a wider selection and to specifically target women is probably a good idea."
However, West warned that the tag of ‘public housewives' could be misinterpreted. "It implies to people an image of being married and takes away from the fact that this is about running your own business," he said. "But recruiting more women can only be a good thing."
Greene King's recruitment drive came as a joint report by the CBI and the TUC, entitled Talent Not Tokenism, revealed that employers which recruit staff based on their abilities, regardless of their sex, have improved retention rates and lowered recruitment costs.
The report praised bar and hotel operator Botanic Inns for providing employees with a wide range of flexible working options, a 24-hour advice service and enhanced maternity and paternity pay, resulting in lower staff turnover.
By Christopher Walton
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