What's the Problem?

Men aren’t talking about gender equality at work, what it means for women and certainly not what it means for men. Too often, men don’t feel able to say or do anything about it. Thinking “it’s not my problem“.

But women still earn 18% less than men – and the gap gets wider after children. Male managers are 40% more likely to be promoted than female managers. And UK mums and dads are the worst in the developed world at sharing their childcare responsibilities – for every hour women spend caring for children men spend just 24 minutes. The UK came 15th out of 15 countries.

A recent study found that men were twice as likely as women to have their request for flexible working arrangements rejected. Another survey showed that just 1% of men had taken shared parental leave.

We can change this. The more men talk about gender equality, the closer we get to making it happen.

Now isn’t that worth standing up for?

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The case for equality

Happier, less stressed men

Studies show men benefit when they balance work and life. They smoke less, drink less, take recreational drugs less often. They’re less likely to go to A&E but more like to go to a doctor for routine checks. They’re also less likely to see a therapist, be diagnosed with depression or rely on prescription medication. Sociologist Michael Kimmel sums it up in his TED Talk, drawing on research from Catalyst and others.

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A stronger economy

By equalising men’s and women’s pay levels it’s been estimated that we could add more than 10% to the UK economy by 2030 – that’s up to £600bn.

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Better boardroom decisions

According to UK Government research, companies with strong female representation at board and top management level perform better than those without. The same research found that boards make better decisions where a range of voices, including women’s, can be heard.

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A fairer society

The UK Government’s equality strategy promises to help build a fairer Britain, prioritising equal treatment and opportunities for all. It highlights the need to change outdated expectations of women’s jobs and family roles, and a lack of flexibility in our systems of maternity and paternity pay.

Despite 84% of British businesses saying they support pregnant women and those on maternity leave, 77% of mothers say they’ve had a negative or discriminatory experience at work.

Facts about the gender gap

Men are more likely to advance

Men are over-represented at every level of work by as much as 19%. The UK government is also dominated by men, with just 22.7% women ministers, and comes 27th in an equality chart of governments around the world – behind the US, Ireland, France and Colombia. Check out the latest BoardWatch figures to see how far the FTSE 350 still has to go to reach voluntary targets of 33% women directors by 2020.

Men are twice as likely to set up their own business

If women became entrepreneurs at the same rate as men, it’s estimated there would be 1 million more entrepreneurs and their related ventures. And while 19% of small businesses are ‘majority led’ by women, 49% are entirely led by men.

Men still earn more than women

Men are paid between 18% and 13% more than women with men earning £300,000 more than women over a lifetime.

More women than men are unemployed, but want to work

There are 920,000 inactive men seeking work in the UK, but 1,379,000 inactive women seeking work, according to the Institute of Employment Rights.

©2018 Walk the Talk

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