Despite the fact that Women’s Equality Day isn’t for a few more months (Monday, 26 August) we’d like to pay attention to this matter more often. It is commonly known that there’s still a lot of inequality between men and women and women empowerment gets more popular by the day.
Inequality in the UK
Let’s start this blog post with the positive news that there are more women working today in the UK than there were in the last four decades. 70% of all women with the age between 16 and 64 are currently employed, while the percentage of employed women in 1971 between this age was only 53% (Catalyst, 2018). FYI, roughly 80% of the men between this age are working today, which means that even though there’s an increase in women’s employment, men still have the upper hand when it comes down to the numbers.
When you take a look at the positions and in particular the division of them, you can see that there are more men at the top than women. In 2018, there was a percentage of 22% of women with senior leadership roles. The percentage of female legislators, senior officials and managers is only 36% (Catalyst, 2018).
“Gender diversity in leadership roles has historically been limited since our socio-economic and political spaces have been led by men. The percentage of women in national parliaments in 2017 was 23.4%, this number only increased by 0.1% from 2016” (IPU, 2018). Moreover, the Fortune 500 only has approximately 24 female CEOs in its list (Zarya, V. 2018).
Gender pay gap
In 2017 the gender pay gap for full- and part-time workers was 18.4% which means that women were making approximately 80% of men’s median hourly wages. Even though there are more women working part-time, at the end of the day it’s men who experience the most growth in part-time wages.
Things we can (and should) do
The biggest barrier between women and career progression is the gender pay gap. This is an economic imperative that matters to everyone. We must take action to create more work opportunities for women. We can do this by creating awareness of the following three things (Getting to Equal, 2017).
- Digital fluency: The digital industry provides countless opportunities that if harnessed, could significantly empower women in the workforce.
- Career strategy: This factor relates back to the importance of having women leaders and mentorship opportunities in the workplace. Women empower women, and ambition and confidence can come from seeing other women succeed.
- Tech immersion: Improving tech skills can advance women in the workplace and help reduce the pay gap. Tech careers allow for full-time work, with senior career advancement in high-paid industries.
Equal legal work rights
According to the world bank 2019 report about women, business and the law, in only six countries in the world women and men are given equal legal work rights. These six countries are Belgium, Denmark, France, Latvia, Luxembourg and Sweden. If you think six countries is a frighteningly small number, think about the fact that a decade ago there wasn’t even one country that gave women and men equal legal rights.
If we talk about equal education we see that in more than 20 nations women are still being discriminated by preventing them from learning. This doesn’t only suppresses the development of women but also their sense of self-worth. Equal education is an essential tool for health improvement, decision-making and achieving social change. Examples of such countries are: India, Cambodia, Nepal, Pakistan, Chad, Afghanistan, Haiti and Egypt and we think it’s important that people realize that change is needed.
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We must recognize that women are still facing suppression and
we must commit to helping in any way we can.