04 April 2008
New mothers and pregnant women 'suffer employment discrimination'
New mothers and pregnant women in the UK suffer particularly badly from employment discrimination, it has been revealed.
According to a report produced by the Fawcett Society, over 300,000 females each year lose their jobs as a result of being pregnant.
Additionally, it was found that women in London - where discrimination was identified as being particularly bad - earned an average of 23 per cent less than their male counterparts.
Commenting on the findings, Dr Katherine Rake, director of the Fawcett Society, said: "Behind the conspicuous wealth of the city lies a hidden story of disadvantage and discrimination affecting women at every level of business - from the bathroom to the boardroom. For the first time, Fawcett is exposing the links between these experiences. That link is sexism."
A charity that focuses on achieving equality between men and women, the Fawcett Society campaigns on the representation of females in politics and public life, as well as on issues of pay, pensions, poverty and the law.
Employment Lawyer Samantha Mangwana from Russell Jones & Walker commented: "We see a countless number of City sex discrimination cases. It is depressing to realise that although these practices were outlawed a generation ago, they still persist so pervasively.
"On the plus side, many City employers are keen to resolve these disputes while avoiding the adverse publicity of a tribunal hearing, so on an individual basis, we are able to secure good settlements.
"However, from a wider perspective of the position of women working in the City, this ultimately just masks the underlying problem.
"The only way real change will ever be effected is if the City is made to change its ways - for example, in introducing transparency in bonus arrangements.
"This is why we welcome this campaign - and support the Fawcett Society in their efforts to stamp out sexism in the City once and for all, through a whole raft of different measures, as detailed in the manifesto."