International Women’s Day is a day to celebrate our achievements and take action to help accelerate gender equality. This year International Women’s Day is on March 8.
There are many different events being held across the UK to celebrate #IWD2016. Derby is hosting a Women’s Festival, London has the WOW (women of the world) festival and Nottingham is hosting a CareerFest. Meanwhile, the International Women’s Day Conference is being hosted by the University of Aberdeen.
You can search for events near you on the official International Women’s Day website.
This year the campaign theme is #PledgeForParity. This is about making a pledge to do what you can to help the world achieve gender equality. One of the areas where gender parity is missing in the UK is in the workplace.
Scathing reviews of the Government’s proposals on gender pay gap reporting have highlighted how far the UK must go in order to make a difference in the gender pay gap. According to the Office of National Statistics, the gender pay gap for median gross hourly earnings for full-time workers in the UK is 9.4 per cent and has barely changed over the past five years.
Gender parity is not just missing in how much we’re paid at work but also in how we are treated. Sadly, despite it being unlawful, maternity discrimination is a common experience for employees in the UK. The Pregnancy and Maternity-Related Discrimination and Disadvantage Report found 20 per cent of the mothers who responded to their survey had experienced negative comments or harassment about their pregnancy from their employer or their colleagues when they announced it or when they returned to work.
I hope that discussion surrounding International Women’s Day will bring light to the fact that gender discrimination and equal pay disputes still occur in the workplace today.
Josephine Van Lierhop is an associate who works in Slater and Gordon’s employment team in London.
Slater and Gordon Lawyers can help if you an employment problem such as gender discrimination or pay issues at work. For an initial consultation call us on freephone 0800 916 9060 or contact us online.