London women fare badly on childcare and flexible jobs
Childcare costs in London are typically a third higher than in any other UK region and the capital has the lowest level of maternal employment plus a male/female pay gap of nearly 23 per cent, according to a report by The Fawcett Society.
The report, ‘What About Women in London?’, considers how London fares in comparison to the rest of the UK when it comes to key equality yardsticks.
It finds that women in London experience a pay gap of almost 23 per cent – some fifty per cent higher than the national average of less than 15 per cent. This means that for every £100 men take home, women will take home an average £77. It also finds that London has the lowest level of maternal employment in the country - just over half of London mothers with dependent children work, compared to almost two thirds across the UK and London is home to more lone parents than anywhere else.
Ceri Goddard, Fawcett’s Chief Executive, said: “London is not keeping pace with the rest of the country when it comes to equality between women and men.
“Women in London are more likely to live in poverty, experience a wider pay gap, and are less likely to work once they have children. Our research also suggests women in London are more likely to experience sexual assault than those living elsewhere.
“Combining work and family life is much harder in London than in other parts of the country – there is a dearth of flexible working opportunities, and childcare costs are a third higher than the national average.
“Far from getting better, our analysis suggests the gap between women and men in London is set to widen. The toxic combination of rising women’s unemployment, cuts to welfare and the ever increasing cost of living in the capital city means that women in London face a bleak future.
“If things are going to change, it is critical that those in positions of influence start considering women as integral to their plans."
The report comes as London gears up to its mayoral elections. The Society is hosting a hustings on gender on 23 April. All the main candidates bar Boris Johnson have agreed to appear so far.