Women and the UK Economy

I have read a fascinating paper written by Andrew Powell. The paper looks at women in the UK labour market and business.

Between October – December 2018 the female employment rate was 71.4%, the highest it has been since records began in 1971. Of the women working, 41% work part time compared with 13% of men. It was noted in a review of the Gender Pay Gap reports that part time workers tend to earn less per hour than those working full-time. As more women than men work part-time this shows up in the gender pay gap stats.

There is so much information in this report talking about the types of work women are more likely to undertake and the differences in self-employed roles. Interestingly 19% of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the UK with employees were led by women in 2017. Men are more likely than women to be involved in “total early stage entrepreneurial activity”.

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Women overall are more likely to be employees rather than self-employed. 89% of women in employment are employees compared to 81% of men. 11% of women are self employed versus 19% of men although the number of self-employed women has increased significantly over the last 10 years.

Women are starting their own businesses, creating new brands, following their dreams and feeling more inspired to be their own boss. From clubs like AllBright to apps like Sistr springing up, the rise of support for women doing their thing, is at full throttle. This isn’t a trend, it’s a new way of life, and the way we raise our children is all part of how families are changing.

There was an article in the times on Monday with the headline ‘Fewer fathers able to take baby leave’.

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Raising a family has shifted more to being a shared responsibility, to be able to help women work they way they want, we also need to let go of the view that employed men need to be in the office all day every day.

Parenting is a team event, and to get WoMos and the Dads juggling work and home, flexible working is for everyone. Just the other day I heard from a male friend that a man on his team had asked to come in late one morning a week to take the kids to school. Fortunately, my friend is very much in the camp of supporting the family juggle, and granted his request immediately.

Why not? This is the way of the future, and work is no longer 9-5 sat at a desk. It supports personal wellbeing, helps men and women fulfil a sense of purpose and in turn increases productivity at work. What’s not to like?

Read the full report here: By Andrew Powell March 8th 2019. A House of Commons Paper #CBP06838.