New measures to include a review of enforcement of equal pay legislation and improved information for parents around family-friendly entitlements have been announced by the Women and Equalities Minister.

Penny Mordaunt highlighted that women face inequality at every stage of their lives, from how they are treated in the classroom, to the caring roles they often take on and the lack of savings or pension they accumulate.

She has therefore issued Gender equality at every stage: a roadmap for change together with The case for change: how economic gender inequalities take hold across the life course and The Gender Equality Monitor: tracking progress on gender equality which can all be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/gender-equality-at-every-stage-a-roadmap-for-change.

Despite generally doing better in education, these documents point out that women are more than three times more likely to work part time, have less chance of seeing their wages grow, tend to work in lower-paid industries and jobs and have lower private pensions wealth.

“I’m confident today’s announcement will be the first step in a long-term commitment by this Government to empower everyone in this country, helping them truly reach their full potential, from birth to retirement”, Ms Mordaunt said.

When they begin their working lives, it is important that both men and women are supported to balance their job and their home life, she continued.

The Government will therefore look at how it can continue to better support organisations in delivering family-friendly policies, through “the largest upgrade to workers’ rights in a generation”.

Welcoming the initiative, Chartered Management Institute CEO, Ann Francke, said: “Gender inequality is a complex issue with many causes rooted throughout education, society, culture and the workplace. The Government’s Gender Equality Roadmap acknowledges this; and breaks down the problem into its many component parts, aiming to offer practical solutions and success measures for each”.

Comment by Peninsula Associate Director of Advisory Kate Palmer

Encouraging gender equality in the workplace remains a top priority for the Government.

Although we do not yet know what exact developments this will bring to the law, it does strongly indicate that we are likely to see a number of changes in the coming years.

Going forward, employers may well find themselves evaluating and changing their current family- friendly policies alongside exploring further options to both attract women to their company and encourage their ongoing progression within it.

While some employers may be concerned over the potential cost of taking such actions, I would remind them of the benefits of diversity.

By committing themselves to gender equality, employers can help attract skilled individuals to their company who may otherwise have not considered applying to join it, something that can be significant for its ongoing development.

Last reviewed 15 July 2019