08 March 2016 - Post by:Sheila Fahy
Of course I want to have fun. But I want more than that. I want the same opportunities as men. I want to be paid the same as a man for doing the same job. I want to be a mother but not be defined by that. I want to be judged on my merits, not on stereotypical assumptions. I want to be whatever I want to be without unconscious bias creeping into the decision-making. And I want all this and more for the next generation of women, and for schoolgirls making career choices.
Today is International Women’s Day 2016, so I am allowed, even expected, to indulge my gender. Today is the day where this year’s theme #PledgeForParity will be trending around the world to highlight that there is still work to be done.
Here in Britain, we are definitely making progress. The number of women on FTSE 100 boards has risen from 12.5% in 2010 to 23.55% in 2015. The gender pay gap is 19.2%, which is nothing to celebrate, however, the Equality Act’s gender pay gap reporting regime is set to come into force in the autumn. This will require employers to report of their gender pay and bonus gaps together with salary quartiles. This pay transparency regime is likely to do more for pay parity in five years than equal pay legislation has done in 45 years. The right to request flexible working is available to all employees, not just mothers. And finally, fathers, partners, adopters, foster parents, same-sex parents and surrogates can join mothers in enjoying workplace rights for parents.
And for those who think I want too much, I would say this: all I want is #parity. Oh and maybe some fun too!