A recent report by the Fawcett Society, the UK’s leading campaign group for equality between men and women, has warned that government cuts to job and key state services could threaten women’s financial security and human rights. Successes in justice for the mistreatment of women and decreasing the pay-gap, for example, could be undermined by the coalition government’s austerity cuts.
According to the Society, despite equal pay legislation coming into force in 1970, men on average are paid 14.9% more than women in full-time jobs. Furthermore, the majority of people in low paid jobs are women. This is due to a number of reasons, including outdated stereotypes and men’s work sometimes being more highly valued. However, there is evidence of progression, as women’s average hourly earnings have grown by 2% in the 12 months leading up to April, to £12.
It’s certainly not all doom and gloom for us females, as more and more women are being heralded for their entrepreneurial spirit and success within their industry (Her Campus is a perfect example!). Ever browsed (or dreamed of browsing) ‘Net-a-Porter’? Natalie Massenet is the LA born founder and CEO of this fashion site, who recently sold her stake in the business for a whopping £50 million. She set up the fashion heaven in 2000 and is now the chairman (or chairperson as it should be) of the British Fashion Council.
Arianna Huffington is further proof that the glass-ceiling can be broken. The Greek journalist launched the Huffington Post in 2005 with three colleagues and is currently editor-in-chief. She regularly contributes to the online newspaper which now exists in French, German, Spanish and Italian as well as English - and she has two children.
According to financial expert Bloomberg, companies perform better on the stock market if they have more women on board. This is credited to less risk being taken and lower levels of debt for those companies who have more women in charge. It has also been suggested that females bring diplomacy and understanding to the workplace- two very necessary things for a happy and successful working environment.
So it seems that we women have plenty to offer in terms of employment, yet this still isn’t being recognised as much as it should be. Here’s hoping that 52% of Nottingham’s graduates are not discriminated against because of their XX factor.