UK equality is “still generations away”

man and woman sitting on coins, equality

The UK is “still generations away” from equality, according to new research from the Fawcett Society.

The Fawcett Society’s 2020 Sex and Power Index highlights the dismally slow pace of change – with stark inequalities continuing to thrive in the UK today.

The index charts the extent of male domination of positions of power with women still missing in significant numbers from top jobs in politics, the law, civil service, trade unions, charities, professional bodies and sport bodies. The Index also reveals an alarming lack of women in colour across the top jobs in all sectors.

To name a few, the data shows that in law the Supreme Court has just two women justices out of 12, and since its formation in 2009, there has never been a Supreme Court judge who is a person of colour. In business, women make up just over one in 20 CEOs of FTSE100 companies, with none of these CEOs are women of colour. In sport, women make up only 21 per cent of national Sport Governing Body CEOs, a drop from 26 per cent in 2018. Only four per cent of Premier League Clubs are led by women.

The Fawcett Society is calling on Government, political parties, the judiciary and employers to act now to ensure a step change in the numbers of women in senior roles. Research has consistently shown that greater equality for women is not only good for society – it is good for business.

This report comes as the Fawcett Society launches the Pay and Progression of Women of Colour Project. Working in partnership with leading race equality think tank, the Runnymede Trust, the project will seek to understand the inequalities and intersecting barriers faced by women of colour, and the solutions they think will help them to overcome them.

The two-year project –funded by the Smallwood Trust -will explore thebarriers experienced by different groups of women of colourat key transitions in their working lives; the multiple forms of discrimination and disadvantagethey experience and a detailed understanding of how they manifest in the workplace.

Speaking Sam Smethers, Fawcett Society Chief Executive, said, “Despite much lip service about the importance of having women in top jobs, today’s data shows we are still generations away from achieving anything close to equality.”

“We are wasting women’s talent and skills.”

“Male dominance of positions of power remains strong as this 2020 Sex and Power Index shows.”

“If we want change, we have to make it happen.”

“That means quotas, targets and policy interventions to remove the barriers to women’s progression.”

“Our research also shows the alarming lack of women of colour in top tiers of many sectors.”

“Fawcett’s new project with the Runnymede Trust on the pay and progression of women of colour will shine a spotlight on the specific challenges and barriers they face in the workplace.”

About the author

Alison is the Digital Content Editor for WeAreTheCity. She has a BA Honours degree in Journalism and History from the University of Portsmouth. She has previously worked in the marketing sector and in a copywriting role. Alison’s other passions and hobbies include writing, blogging and travelling.

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