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Report reveals Gender Equality may take another 55 years

A Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) report has concluded that it may now take up to 55 years for women to have equality in society. The report, “Sex and Power” analyses women in top positions of power and influence across the public and private sectors. Now in its fifth year the report reveals fewer women hold top posts in 12 out of 25 categories.

There are now fewer women MPs, cabinet members, national newspaper editors, senior police officers and judges, NHS executives, trade union leaders and heads of professional bodies, compared with 2007. The number of female media bosses, MEPs, directors of major museums and galleries, chairs of national arts companies and holders of senior ranks in the Armed Forces has remained the same.

Women's representation had increased in the House of Lords and among company directors, council leaders, university vice-chancellors and top civil service managers.  However, in six of these categories the increase was less than 1%.

The report reveals a worrying trend of stalled and in some cases reversed progress in gender diversity at the top. Nicola Brewer the EHRC has called for radical change in working practises, blaming in large employers for “old-fashioned, inflexible ways of working”.

The report can be viewed in more detail at the link below

http://www.equalityhumanrights.com/Documents/EHRC/sexandpower08.pdf

Only a few months ago the European Professionals Women Network report showed that progress on gender equality within Western Europe over the past four years had been extremely slow. Had it not been for the progress of Scandinavian countries the figures would have reflected more worrying results. Research from Cambridge University in August also argued that their has been a decline in support for gender equality. 

Women’s Campaigners such as the Fawcett society are calling for a reduction in the hurdles women face in their careers. The TUC has called for a “firmer” approach in response to the findings. Indeed serious policy changes may be needed to catalyst significant change. Scandinavian countries have demonstrated huge gains by introducing laws which demand strict gender quotas at senior levels. As well as blaming employers it may be time for the government to look at how its policies can further encourage progress in equality for women.

Ends

Posted by

Asif Yusuf
Publisher

 

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