Last week, the government set out its vision and actions to tackle gender inequality. The roadmap has been designed to enable everyone, regardless of gender, to contribute to the country’s economy and balance caring responsibilities with a rewarding career.
“Promoting gender equality for all is firmly in our national interest”, says The Rt Hon Penny Mordaunt MP, Minister for Women and Equalities in her opening statement. “Getting this right is key to shaping our shared future when no one is limited, except by their talents and the ambitions they have. This work is an important step forward in creating a fairer society where everyone can reach their full potential, and consequently our nation too.”
At Bright Horizons this was certainly music to our ears and it’s fair to say we all gave a little ‘whoop!’. For more than 30 years, we have been championing working families and are proud to be a trusted partner to more than 1,200 employers – creating new ideas for the way people work and live today and supporting businesses and society.
So, what key actions will the government be acting on?
1. Tackling limiting attitudes to gender
Creating a society where children and adults are not limited in their choice, opportunities or success by expectations and perceptions about gender.
2. Women tend to work in lower paid sectors and occupations, and are less likely to progress
Helping women enter the labour market, be empowered to stay on and progress at an equal rate to men, and go as far as their talents and ambition cane take them.
3. The working age benefits system hasn’t always tackled the disadvantages that women and those with caring responsibilities face
Ensuring that Universal Credit is rolled out as soon as possible so that people who are currently on legacy benefits can access the additional advantages it offers.
4. Women take more time out of the labour market to care for children
Enabling both parents to take active and well-informed choices about balancing work and care; employers to create inclusive workplaces fit for the future – showing equal consideration of work-life balance and facilitating flexible working to retain staff; and infants to reap the known benefits of spending time with both parents.
5. Women are providing more informal care and unpaid work for others
Supporting everyone who is providing informal care to make informed decisions about combining work and care before they reach crisis point.
6. Helping people to return to work after taking time out for caring
Encouraging more women to enter and return to the labour market, supported to up-skill or re-train if needed, and employers to recognise the value of these workers.
7. Women are more likely to face financial instability later in life
Tackling the structural inequalities in the labour market that lead to the private pensions gap and empower people to take informed decisions about saving across their life course.
8. We need to ensure we have the right foundations for the future
Sustaining our robust and world-leading legislative framework and public services that support women.
We wish the government the very best as it continues to drive forward this critical agenda and shift the dial on women’s economic empowerment – closing the gender pay gap and creating true gender equality across the UK.
To read the government’s full report and roadmap, visit: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/814079/GEO_GEEE_Strategy_Gender_Equality_Roadmap_tagged.pdf