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UK failing on workplace gender equality

Published: June 7, 2016

Many British employers are failing to ensure female and male workers are being treated the same, according to a new report.

The latest Glassdoor Economic Research report highlights that the UK is still behind many other European nations in terms of gender equality.

In partnership with Llewellyn Consulting, the study looked at the number of female managers, gender gap in employment ratios and the female-to-male labour force ratio in countries.

The study found females were under-represented at board level across all countries, with Norway having the highest proportion of women on boards at 36 per cent, compared to 26 per cent in Italy and just eight per cent in Estonia.

However, the UK did reasonably well in terms of the number of female managers, where it was the third best position in Europe – behind only Sweden and Norway.

“In the UK there are fewer women than men in the workplace. However, this gap is considerably narrower for those with a university education,” said Dr Andrew Chamberlain, chief economist of Glassdoor.

“By contrast, Sweden, Norway and Finland all have an almost equal balance of men and women in the labour market and can be a lesson for the UK.”

He added one of the main concerns highlighted by the research was the high cost of having a child, with British working mothers significantly worse off than those without family commitments.

Jemima Olchawski, head of policy and insight at the Fawcett Society, speaking to CIPD, stressed firms need to be aware that publishing details of gender pay gaps will be mandatory for business with more than 250 employees.

She added: “We are encouraging them to have a really thorough look and conduct a pay audit to understand who is working in what roles in their organisation and how people are paid, so they can understand the causes of gender inequality and develop an action plan from there.”

Mitrefinch offers rostering technology that can make it easier for employers to monitor and schedule the rota of staff around family commitments. 

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