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Meg Munn MP - Sheffield Heeley's voice in Parliament | Welcome
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The gender pay gap bad news for us all

Monday, August 3, 2009

Meg Munn MP, former Minister for Women and Equality, has spoken of her ‘concern’ at the findings of the latest report from the Women and Work Commission. The report, which reviews the implementation of the 2006 recommendations by the Commission, shows that the gender pay gap had widened slightly during 2007 from 21.9% to 22.6%. Although only a small increase, it happened before the current worldwide recession started, which is likely to hamper attempts to bring pay equality.  


Meg said:


‘I welcome the work of the Commission in compiling this report it contains some thought provoking findings. I am concerned that the gender pay gap between men and women at work is not closing. This gap isn’t just bad news for women, it affects all of us.  Women’s abilities and skills are not being fully used in business and the economy.


But, I am pleased that the report has found that government is tackling inequality in the workplace, and that some progress has been made in the public sector. As the report says, a great deal more needs to be done.’


Three years after the Women and Work Commission’s report, Shaping a Fairer Future, - which set out 40 recommendations for tackling the gender divide at work the government invited it to reconvene and see what progress had been made. Whilst their update report found good progress had been made in key areas like childcare and the right to request flexible working, the Commission remained "disappointed" in the lack of overall progress.


It added that the gender pay gap still "stubbornly persists despite monumental changes in women’s position in the workplace". It concluded that breaking down stereotypes at school should now become a government priority to ensure girls are not funnelled into the "five c" careers - caring, cashiering, clerical, cleaning and catering - where pay levels tend to be lower.


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