WM People podcast: from childcare to gender equity

The fourth WM People podcast is out with discussion of childcare and the Budget, International Women’s Day and the everywoman in Technology awards.

The new episode of the WM People podcast is out today, featuring discussion about the Budget, International Women’s Day and the everywoman in tech awards.

The podcast hosts Mandy Garner, editor of workingmums.co.uk and workingwise.co.uk, and Ben Falk, editor of workingdads.co.uk, started by discussing all the latest research and reports on childcare in the run-up to the Budget. They traced why childcare has become such a hot political issue in the last months, with everyone from the CBI and the Federation of Small Businesses to Conservative party backbenchers and the Children’s Commissioner calling for change. They also discussed the latest reports on both childcare costs and childcare availability – from Pregnant Then Screwed’s and Nesta’s recent surveys on the impact of childcare costs on parents to Coram Family and Childcare’s annual look at childcare availability and how many of these problems have been building for years, but only now, due to labour shortages, seems to have moved up the political agenda.

The second topic of discussion focused on International Women’s Day, whose theme this year was #EmbraceEquity. They spoke about the difference between gender equality and gender equity, which recognises the structural issues that have contributed to where we are now – for instance, how the workplace excludes women or makes it difficult for them to succeed. They also discussed a report from the Global Institute for Women’s Leadership at King’s College which raised concerns about a backlash against gender equality, with younger people more likely to think gender equality may have gone too far in favour of women and speculated on why this might be. They made the point that the fight for gender equality needs to be continuous and consistent.

The last segment involved the everywoman in Technology awards which aimed to boost the number of women in tech. Garner made the point that all sectors now require tech knowledge and highlighted the academic award won by Jackie Carter, Professor in Statistical Literacy at the University of Manchester who works with social scientists in a bid to make tech more inclusive of all disciplines. Falk spoke of the award for male allies and the important role men in male-dominated sectors can make when it comes to gender equality.



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