Workingwise.co.uk’s annual survey was published for National Older Workers Week and...read more
The new edition of the WM People podcast covers the Budget, a possible gender equality backlash and women in technology.
Backsliding on gender equality, the Budget and women in STEM feature in the new episode of the WM People podcast out this week.
The podcast hosts Mandy Garner, editor of workingmums.co.uk and workingwise.co.uk, and Ben Falk, editor of workingdads.co.uk, discuss International Women’s Day, whose theme this year was #EmbraceEquity. They speak 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 discuss a report from the Global Institute for Women’s Leadership at King’s College which raises concerns about a backlash against gender equality.
The survey finds the number of people who say they are scared to speak out and advocate for the equal rights of women because of what might happen to them has doubled since 2017, rising from 14% to 29%, with younger people much more likely to fear doing this. It also finds that 38% now agree that when it comes to giving women equal rights with men, things have gone far enough – up from 25% in 2018. Moreover, 38% feel that men are being expected to do too much to support equality, an increase on the 29% who felt this way in 2019. And two in five (43%) people say we have gone so far in promoting women’s equality that we are discriminating against men. Interestingly Gen Z and Millennials are significantly more likely than Baby Boomers and Gen X to think we have gone so far in promoting women’s equality that we are discriminating against men.
Falk and Garner speculate on why this might be, for instance, whether gender equality is a bigger issue for older women who have had a lifetime of experiencing the effects of structural and other barriers to equality. And they make the point that the fight for gender equality needs to be continuous and consistent.
The podcast also covers the Budget, in particular all the latest research and reports on childcare in the last few weeks. Falk and Garner trace 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 discuss 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. They touch on the way the Budget will affect older workers, who have also come under the microscope due to labour shortages and rising economic inactivity during the pandemic.
The last segment of the podcast involves the everywoman in Technology awards which aim to boost the number of women in tech. Garner makes the point that all sectors now require tech knowledge and highlights 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 speaks about the award for male allies and the important role men in male-dominated sectors can make when it comes to gender equality.