Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Women face huge disadvantages in their working lives

11.07.2006
Women from all walks of life are still finding that their gender affects their experience of employment and the labour market, according to new research findings being released at a national conference on Thursday 13 July 2006.
Headline findings from the study, conducted by experts at Sheffield Hallam University are:
  • over half of women working part time are working below their potential – 2.8 million women nationwide
  • women are more likely to live in poverty in the UK than men – yet women’s poverty and the reasons for it have been overlooked in many Government regeneration schemes
  • 1.4 million women outside paid employment want to work - but are often barred from the job market as they lack support and cannot find decent jobs flexible enough to meet their needs. Policy makers need to do much more to smooth the transition back into employment for those who have had a career break or need to update their skills or gain experience
  • in some localities a serious qualifications deficit exists, with low qualifications affecting women of all ages. In some localities more than one third of young women and half of older women had no qualifications
  • young women in deprived areas often have very poor experiences in the labour market and struggle to find a way into work
  • women are more concentrated at the bottom of the jobs ladder – they are also more likely than men to work close to home and most still have to fit their jobs around caring roles and domestic responsibilities
  • in the local authorities studied over 60 per cent of women earning over £27,000 a year had never used their organisation's flexible working policies
  • in some areas Bangladeshi, Pakistani and Black African women were very much more likely to be unemployed than local White women living nearby
  • the proportion of working age women who are graduates has risen strongly - with a very marked rise for Indian, Pakistani and Black Caribbean women aged 25-44 – yet this is often not reflected in their position in the labour market


The findings from the three year programme of research suggest that there is still some way to go before women's skills, qualifications and experience are properly utilised in the workplace, and that until jobs are better designed and better paid, employers will be missing out on a crucial pool of talent.

The study, by experts at Sheffield Hallam University, focussed on a variety of factors that affect women's working lives - women and part time work; pay; unemployment and inactivity; employment in domiciliary care; ethnic minority women and access to the labour market; addressing women's poverty; and women's career development in the local authority sector. The studies explored the themes at local level across eleven localities in all parts of the country and listened to women's experiences, including those living in some of the most deprived areas of England. Each of the six new reports compares findings from different parts of England to highlight key local and national issues.

Professor Sue Yeandle, leader of the research programme at Sheffield Hallam University explains, "This far reaching study shows that women from every walk of life are finding that their workplaces do not meet their needs and that their gender affects the jobs that are available to them and their prospects for the future.

“Some women are still struggling to get into the labour market even though many employers are crying out for job applicants and reporting skills shortages.
"If the national economy is to continue to prosper, then the skills, talent and enthusiasm of half its population cannot continue to be under-utilised in this way. We must move on from an employment system designed for the last century. It makes good business sense to design jobs around real people's lives as this is the only way employers can recruit from the best possible pool of people and retain the talent they have."

Frances O'Grady, TUC Deputy General Secretary, said: “This study proves that raising a family or caring for elderly relatives has a major impact on the jobs and careers of the UK’s female workforce. Many women work locally because they have to fit their paid work around school hours and childcare. This limits the type of jobs they can do and many women face an uphill struggle to access training or find work that fulfils their potential. As a result, many women earn much less and don’t progress as far in their careers as men of a similar age. "

Jenny Watson, Chair of the Equal Opportunities Commission, said, "These findings show that women are still facing many obstacles in the workplace and often end up in low paid, low prospect work despite being well qualified, especially when they want to work flexibly. There's a real opportunity for all us here. If the pay gap were closed, the Women and Work Commission estimates up to £23 billion could be added to the economy per year. It's particularly important to open up higher paid work to people who want to work flexibly so that they don't have to "trade down" to find the working style they need and employers don't have to lose out on their skills and experience. The EOC's ongoing investigation into transforming the workplace is looking, with employers, at how to do this."

The Gender and Employment in Local Labour Markets (GELLM) research programme was funded by a European Social Fund grant, with support from the Equal Opportunities Commission, the Trades Union Congress and the 12 English local authorities where the research was undertaken. The findings will be presented at a major conference, Promoting Gender Equality in Local Labour Markets, at Congress House in London on Thursday 13 July 2006, when the programme’s six new reports will be launched.

Lorna Branton | alfa
Further information:
http://www.shu.ac.uk

More articles from Social Sciences:

nachricht Amazingly flexible: Learning to read in your thirties profoundly transforms the brain
26.05.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Kognitions- und Neurowissenschaften

nachricht Fixating on faces
26.01.2017 | California Institute of Technology

All articles from Social Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Cholesterol-lowering drugs may fight infectious disease

22.08.2017 | Health and Medicine

Meter-sized single-crystal graphene growth becomes possible

22.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

Repairing damaged hearts with self-healing heart cells

22.08.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>