New research highlights big gaps in gender equality

19th February 2020, 8:00 am

Major concerns exist across Greater Manchester about gender equality in the workforce, according to new research by pro-manchester.

The findings reveal that equal pay is still the biggest concern, followed by the challenges of women returning to work and access to equal opportunities.

“The gender diversity element of this debate spoke to me when we started looking at this issue,” said Rebecca Durrant, partner and national head of private clients at national audit, tax, advisory and risk firm firm Crowe UK, which supported the research, alongside Connections Recruitment.

“I think it’s important for us all to work on addressing these issues and help adjust the balance of opportunities for women.”

While the number of women in senior positions continues to rise in the city, and people largely believe men and women are treated equally, 40 per cent of those surveyed believe they don’t have access to the same opportunities.

A significant 45 per cent of people still believe it is difficult to return to work after maternity leave, while only 10 per cent reported similar challenges for men after having children.

Major concerns still exist about the gender pay gap with 77 per cent of people suggesting it remains a very real issue.

New legislation came into force in 2017, forcing companies with more than 250 people to disclose their gender pay gap figures. While the data has only been in the public domain for the past two years, the move has prompted continued calls for change.

“People who are not part of a particular group don’t always understand it,” said Durrant. “It’s important that we get that message across for businesses that these are real issues that have a real impact on what they do and how they perform.

“When you begin to address them, and remove barriers for people, it unlocks so much opportunity. People are speaking up more and change is happening.”

The importance of equality, diversity and inclusion in Greater Manchester workplaces report and research will be launched at an event on 25 February 2020.

Speakers include Ian Hopkins, chief constable at Greater Manchester Police, business psychologist Clare Mulligan, IoD Manchester chair and leadership consultant Sharon Amesu, alongside Erica Ingham from MediaCom North and Mark Fletcher from Manchester Pride.

For more information click here.

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