Belinda Liversedge considers why there’s still a gender imbalance in health and safety, and what’s being done about it.

Almost half (47%) of workers in the UK are female, so why are there comparatively few women working in health and safety? Belinda Liversedge attended Women in Health and Safety’s first panel event to find out.

Health and safety is a vast discipline covering so many industries and workplaces, something that should make it open to many different minds, skills, interests and people regardless of their gender. However, while many women have gone on to enjoy careers in health and safety, it is still the case that men far outnumber them. IOSH’s membership is around 25% women and research by the TUC in 2011 found that women constitute 27% of trade union health and safety representatives sitting on health and safety committees at workplaces. It’s also plain to see; at a recent awards ceremony for health and safety, one Twitter post asked, ‘Where are all the women?’.

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