Austerity Having Negative Effect on Gender Inequality

A number of leading charities have condemned government austerity stating that an extra incentive on savings for all has led to more gender inequality.

A Fair Deal for Women, an umbrella group of 11 women’s rights charities, including Women’s Aid, the Fawcett Society and the Women’s Resource Centre have stated that significant cuts to public services, freezing or lowering child tax credits, a five-year lock on tax rises and a cut to social security will affect women more than men and in turn, affect gender equality in the workplace.

Although there have been numerous signs of improvement in regards to female employment last year saw Britain fall eight places to 26th place on the World Economic Forum’s Gender Gap Index, lower than almost all it's European neighbours and some other small nations.

Speaking of the falling in the Gender Gap Index a spokeswoman for A Fair Deal For Women said: “Without swift action to address women’s inequality in all areas, we could see the UK falling even lower.

“Perhaps it is women’s woefully low representation in the top positions in our society that means they have become the load bearers of austerity.”

Female Employment

Despite some of the statements from leading charities, many aspects of employment, and, in particular, female employment are improving. In the final three months of 2014, Scotland’s female unemployment rate was almost 1.5% lower than the EU average.

Between October and December 2014, Scottish unemployment for females stood at 4% according to figures from Eurostat, significantly lower than the 5.3% average for the UK. The rate was rarely matched by any other European countries with the country also having the second highest female employment of all EU nations with a rate of 71.3%.

Minister for youth and women's employment Annabelle Ewing said: "We have recently seen record levels of female employment in Scotland and the gap between male and female employment is also near a record low.

"In addition, we are leading the way with our commitment to 50:50 boards, supporting flexible working patterns to accommodate working parents and carers and other innovative support programmes such as support for women in enterprise, promotion of careers for women in STEM subjects.

"Gender balance isn't just the right thing to do; it makes smart business sense."

Underlying Issues Regarding Female Employment

According to a recent study conducted by Business Environment prior to Women’s Day 2014, more than 25% of women in the UK suffer from some sort of gender discrimination in the workplace, with 19% believing that they had missed out on a promotion due to their gender or taking maternity leave.

Alarmingly the study found that 27% of female bosses admitting they would be reluctant to hire a woman of childbearing age, with a quarter of all employers stating that they would consider not hiring a woman if she already had children.

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We understand that taking any legal action against an employer can be daunting, however, if you have been overlooked for a promotion, require advice regarding a settlement agreement or are failing to obtain equal pay due to your gender or having taken maternity leave, we can give you the advice and representation required to get compensation. Contact us today using our online contact form


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