The Government’s Mission to Tackle Gender Inequality
There’s been some good news from the government recently. A few weeks ago, I read a fascinating article about the Government Equalities Office mission to tackle gender inequality: Penny Mordaunt, Minister for Women and Equalities, announced that they would be putting marginalised women “at the heart of their work on gender.”
- Around 1.8 million women are currently economically inactive because they are caring for their family, more than eight times the number of men in that position
- The gender pay gap increases from over 6% for those in their twenties to around 23% for those in their forties. Mckinsey estimates that bridging gender gaps in work could add £150 million to the UK economy by 2025
- Women are disproportionately more likely to work in caring, customer service and cleaning roles, which tend to be less well paid, and three times more likely than men to work part-time
The Government Equalities Office is moving to the Cabinet Office to increase their impact in tackling gender inequality. Hopefully, this will make them more influential as it is where the Office for Disability Issues and Race Disparity both sit. There will also be two new funds created to support this work.
- £600,000 to help vulnerable women get back into work. This fund can be accessed by organisations supporting these women with training, refresher skills and work placements.
- £100,000 to enable isolated women to become independent. This is particularly focused on those with limited language skills and multiple barriers
However, recent reports confirm that low paid, low skilled women will be the worst hit by the budget set to come out in April 2019. That said, if pulled off correctly, the government’s approach to tackling gender inequality could really help progress the gender equality agenda – especially for marginalised women who struggle due to systemic and institutionalised inequalities.
I remain positive. Let’s watch this space.
Tiwonge is a Diversity and Inclusion consultant for EW Group, who brings a wealth of experience from the public, private and charitable sectors. She has worked across four continents building rapport with diverse cultures. Her expertise is in making the complexities of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) simple for clients. She believes that EDI successes come from respecting people’s opinions; being tolerant of everyone’s views – even those that may be in contrast to our own.