The UK is still generations away from gender equality, new study shows

The UK is still generations away from gender equality, new study shows
Credit: Belga

Women are only 6% of CEOs of FTSE 100 companies in the UK, according to a report published on Monday by the Fawcett Society, a non-governmental body that campaigns for women’s rights and gender equality.

Moreover, in Autumn, Alison Rose, at RBS, became the first woman to head a big London bank; and two months ago, the Hampton-Alexander organization noted in a study that the number of women in major corporate boardrooms in Britain had increased but “too few women” had been appointed to the post of chair of the board.

For its part, the World Economic Forum (WEF) recently warned that, at the current rhythm, gender parity in the workplace would take upward of 200 years.

In its study, Sex and power Index 2020, based on data collected between September 2019 and January 2020, the Fawcett Society stressed further that, in the British media, women represent only 21% of editors-in-chief of national newspapers, and only four of them head editorial boards.

Fawcett Executive Director Sam Smethers commented that although there had been many words spoken about the importance of having women in decision-making positions, Britain was “generations away” from achieving gender parity.

The report also insists that there is an “alarming” lack of women of colour at the head of organisations in all sectors, including trade unions, charities and sports organisations.

As a result of a combination of “discrimination, harassment and structural barriers,” handicapped persons and the LGBTQ+ community also stand a good chance of being underrepresented.

In the field of politics, women now make up 34% of the British parliament and represent 30% of top officials of ministerial cabinets, but progress is “still too slow,” notes the study, which zooms in on the total absence of women of colour in the Scottish parliament and the national assemblies of Wales and Northern Ireland.

However, some progress was made at the last legislative elections. For the first time, women are in the majority in the Labour camp and among the Liberal Democrats, while women of colour account for 17% of women in parliament, which is about the same as their share of the general British population, the report noted.

The Brussels Times

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