It’s almost unbelievable that 30 years after the Sex Discrimination Act came into force, that half the population (no minority group then) are being short changed and under represented in the most powerful positions. A report in today’s Guardian shows the results of new research from the Equal Opportunities Commission.
Representation in parliament in the UK reveals the shocking truth that only 19.5% of MPs are women. We’re trailing well behind countries such as Rwanda (48.8%), Afghanistan (27.3%) and Iraq (25.5%).
Katherine Rake of the Fawcett Society is right in saying that if decisions are only being made by one group of the population they will not reflect the lives of ordinary people.
Those representing us in the senior positions in the public and voluntary sectors are at 20.6%, senior ranks in the armed forces at 0.4%, senior police officers 12.3%, senior judiciary 9.8%, heath service chief executives at 37.9%.
Directors in FTSE 100 companies 10.4%, editors of national newspapers 17.4%.
And, it’s not only the top jobs pay less for us women, the pay gap is sticking at 17%, with the part time pay gap at a cavernous 36%.
This shocking state of affairs requires some radical action. A major setback for women in terms of careers is having children and part time or flexible working can mean career ambitions are curtailed. Men have children too and the issue should effect both equally, so more should be done for everyone who needs it, only offering help to women just makes the problem worse.