house of commons – women in the workplace

The following piece of written evidence from the Government was taken directly from a volume of submissions relevant to the inquiry into Women in the Workplace, which have been reported to the House of Commons.

To view the full list of written evidence surrounding the inquiry into Women in the Workplace please click the following link.

Alternatively to view the ‘Guide for witnesses giving written or oral evidence to a House of Commons select committee’ document please click the link.

Written evidence submitted by the Government

In its equality strategy, “Building a Fairer Britain” (December 2010), the Government set out its aims for a fair and flexible labour market which draws on the talents of all and where everyone who can work has real opportunities to work. To achieve this, we are working with business to address the main barriers to equality in the workplace, such as ensuring fair access to the labour market, equal pay, and equal opportunities for promotion and progression.Despite great progress in recent decades, women are still more likely than men to be in low-paying jobs and are underrepresented in senior positions. The evidence shows that there is untapped potential among women and that the economy is missing out because women have a lower rate of economic activity than men.

Alongside the policies and programmes set out below in response to the issues raised by the Committee, for example on flexible working and increasing the number of women on corporate boards, we are taking wider action. This includes reforming education, extending childcare support, developing a new system of parental leave so that parents can choose how best to share caring responsibilities, and introducing Universal Credit to provide families with more flexibility to balance work and caring responsibilities.

Taken together, this represents an ambitious programme to support women to achieve their potential in the labour market, but the Government is committed to going further. The Women’s Business Council was established in May 2012 to look at ways of maximising women’s contribution to economic growth. The Council, chaired by Ruby McGregor-Smith CBE, CEO at MITIE, will make recommendations to business and Government on how best to remove the barriers that women face in playing a full part in business and the workplace.

The Council members are drawn from across business sectors – advertising, social media, enterprise, retail, legal, financial, utilities, pharmaceutical, and recruitment – and published their work programme in summer 2012. The Council is due to report formally to Government in May 2013.

To view the full list of written evidence surrounding the inquiry into Women in the Workplace please click the following link.

Alternatively to view the ‘Guide for witnesses giving written or oral evidence to a House of Commons select committee’ document please click the link.