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 Illinois researchers researchers find tweeting in cities lower than expected
21.02.2018 | University of Illinois College of Engineering

nachricht Polluted air may pollute our morality
08.02.2018 | Association for Psychological Science

All articles from Social Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Powerful IT security for the car of the future – research alliance develops new approaches

The more electronics steer, accelerate and brake cars, the more important it is to protect them against cyber-attacks. That is why 15 partners from industry and academia will work together over the next three years on new approaches to IT security in self-driving cars. The joint project goes by the name Security For Connected, Autonomous Cars (SecForCARs) and has funding of €7.2 million from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Infineon is leading the project.

Vehicles already offer diverse communication interfaces and more and more automated functions, such as distance and lane-keeping assist systems. At the same...

Im Focus: Molecular switch will facilitate the development of pioneering electro-optical devices

A research team led by physicists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has developed molecular nanoswitches that can be toggled between two structurally different states using an applied voltage. They can serve as the basis for a pioneering class of devices that could replace silicon-based components with organic molecules.

The development of new electronic technologies drives the incessant reduction of functional component sizes. In the context of an international collaborative...

Im Focus: LZH showcases laser material processing of tomorrow at the LASYS 2018

At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.

At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...

Im Focus: Self-illuminating pixels for a new display generation

There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?

At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

In focus: Climate adapted plants

25.05.2018 | Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

In focus: Climate adapted plants

25.05.2018 | Event News

Flow probes from the 3D printer

25.05.2018 | Machine Engineering

Less is more? Gene switch for healthy aging found

25.05.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>