Government publishes ‘roadmap for change’

The roadmap outlines action already under way and plans for the future to tackle all the different areas that contribute to gender inequality.

Girls

 

The Government Equalities Office has published a ‘roadmap for change’ which highlights the eight main areas which it says are vital for improving gender equality.

The areas include everything from challenging gender stereotypes to caring to finance and the report is backed by a host of projected figures on the economic costs of gender equality, for example, that reducing gender gaps in labour market participation, STEM qualifications and wages could increase the UK economy by £55bn by 2030.

On the gender pay gap, it says it will review the audit metrics to make it easier for employers to understand the causes of pay differentials between men and women. There will be a consultation on changes to the gender pay audits by 2021. There will also be a national campaign for employers around gender equity and the Women’s Business Council will have a renewed focus on best practice.

The report also outlines plans for innovative pilots in flexible working for SMEs, a consultation on carer’s leave, a taskforce on pregnancy and maternity discrimination, consultation on sexual harassment at work legislation and says a new digital tool on Shared Parental Leave will be launched later in the year to help parents understand their options around parental leave. The report also mentions that the government has just launched a Carers Innovation Fund to support innovative work in providing support for carers, including increasing their ability to juggle their work and caring responsibilities.

Other plans include:

  • the development of trial projects to get more girls into STEM
  • research into different ways to engage men and boys
  • a programme on gender stereotypes in the media and advertising, including a barometer to measure the prevalence of harmful gender stereotypes
  • more research on innovative approaches to tackling gender equity at work
  • the development of work coaches’ skills to help women switch jobs so they don’t remain in the lowest paid roles
  • Changes to the Flexible Support Fund to help the poorest parents pay upfront childcare fees so they can get into work
  • an emphasis on best practice in part-time and flexible apprenticeships
  • a new voluntary Investing in Women code to help female entrepreneurs and expose the gender gap in investment
  • a review of enforcement of the Equal Pay Act which celebrates its 50th anniversary next year.

The roadmap was published alongside a Gender Equality Monitor which is dedicated to improving metrics with regard to gender equity.

Penny Mordaunt, Minister for Women and Equalities, said: “I want to ensure that every women in the UK has the freedom, choice and capacity to do whatever she wants to do. Our work does that by breaking down how inequalities accumulate throughout women and men’s lives, often through making seemingly innocuous decisions, and offering solutions…Promoting gender equality for all is firmly in our national interest and I am determined to keep this vital issue at the top of the agenda.”



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