According to the UK government (2016)Women still earn 20% less on average than men. Firstly, gender equality iswhere Men and Women can enjoy and experience the exact same resourceopportunities and rewards within the workplace.
According to (CIPD, 2017) TheUk’s gender equality has barely moved within the last 10 years as shown in thefirst statistic of Women still earning on average 20% less than men. Thisstatistic shows that The UK has one of the worst gender equality records in theEU with the UK much behind EU members such as France, Spain and Germany. Thisis an issue especially for working mothers as they are far worse off thatpeople without family responsibilities, the current gender pay gap for women inthe UK with no children is just over 7% whereas for women with at least 1 childthis gap jumps to 21% says the (Guardian, 2017). New legislations were introduced into the UKand EU to create a gender equality society for women in 1970s. Equal pay for equalwork was aim introduced to provide fair treatment for women and men in theworkplace. Gender equality legislations in the UK are enforcing if nodiscrimination in pay and employment based treatment when it comes to genderwhich is stated in the Equal Pay Act 1970. In the EU, Article 119 FoundingTreaty of Rome 1957, Equal Pay Directive prohibits unequal pay with equal workand Employment Protection Act 1978 concerns maternity leave in the EU(Tomlinson 2010).
Rice (1999) pointed out that in most EU countries, court andtribunal are the main agent dealing with complaints and UK has a high awarenessof equality issues since its legislation are predates the EU’s. These new lawshave made people expect vast changes for the lives of women within the workforce.According to European Commission’s report that concerns gender equalopportunity women have better opportunities when it comes to decision makingwithin companies.
According to Rodgers (1999), ”gender-related legislationsfocus on making Armor for women to own their right and to be in a more neutralposition”. The issue is that much of society still doesn’t believe that theselegislations have been put into place and are taken seriously. Rubenstein(1996) argues that “whether the aim of the legislation is to treat womenlike men when they are like men, e.g.
challenge inaccurate stereotypes andlabels, or to revalue and accommodate gender difference. Therefore, thelegislation as it stands does little to challenge the ‘male’ stereotypesagainst which women are rated, or to bring pressure on male lifestyles.”As shown the legislation may not be sufficient to ban discrimination in genderinequality which will not lead to an effective prohibition.
to add to this ,Rubery et al., (2004) claims that ”legislation has been long contradictory andit is breakable.” He believes that gender related legislations are put intoplace to build an equal gender society. There is no clear showing of which a companydo obey the legislation or not therefore the unequal situation may hardlychange.
Bellamy et al., (2006) said ”the reason that gender inequality ispersistent in Britain is because the inadequacy of protection that currentequality legislation”. Despite the participation rate of women in labourmarket improving form how it was, there is clearly still obvious inequality thatremains in working conditions and the pay gap may be considered as the most obviousdifference between women and men in the UK. “Women working full time earn 17% lessper hour than men, and women working part time 39% less per hour than menworking full time. Mothers of young children face the widest pay gap, earningon average just 67% of the male hourly wage. And despite the LabourGovernment’s focus on improving work-life balance for parents of youngchildren, 30,000 pregnant women are still unlawfully dismissed from their jobseach year” (Bellamy &Cameron 2006). ”The evidence indicates that mothers still face inequality interms of losing jobs even legislation is there for protection”.
Despite thiswoman who do full-time jobs are getting more and more equal with men consideringthat they have the same level of education and occupation level. women that arein part-time jobs are paid in lower wages and lower occupation level than men.Gender discrimination has been known to be one of the major reasons for the paygap as well as ineffective gender equality legislation is another big factor.
There is a lot of, arguments concerning how the legislation itself is put intopractice. Other than dealing with the main causes of discrimination, the currentlegislation concerns itself too much on fixing the consequences of genderinequality. The idea that gender equality legislations are not taken seriouslyis well known by society and the ineffectiveness of it is not only forindividuals themselves it is also for the organisations. One support idea ofgender equality is that all the legislations focus on how to improve women’srole in labour market but not mention the role that man need to contribute tothis.
An example of this being that if men and women highly participated inlabour market this would result in no carer for the family. This links with thestereotype of men being breadwinners and that women are less likely to have astable employment status. One topic is that no matter the amount of time that womenspend on building their career’s, men are still considered as more suitable tomake decisions. This talks on the point on women going out working withoutconcern about what the man’s role is may cause issues such as children beingleft with no carer. The idea of men always being the dominant earner may occurin the absence of women making economic contribution to the family as men dotherefore, future generations are morelikely build the same sort of family for their own in the future. This resultsto men and women continuing to be breadwinners and housekeepers. This all showsthat despite legislations being in place to protective women a lack ofknowledge of the law means that workers and employers did not associate withthe government to promote the equality legislation.
Diversitywithin the workplace is a key element for the core of a business plan for thecompanies to develop their skills and practices as employing the exact sametype of people for a company with continue to come out with the same ideas andmethods where as employing a diverse workforce will encourage new ways ofthinking and developing strategies that can be applied to enhance the business.Gender reassignment, sex and sexual orientation all comes under the EqualityAct 2010. This act legally protects people from issues such as discriminationwithin the workplace as well as society itself. A business will need to show thatEquality and diversity are part of the core business plan by implementing apolicy within the organisation, with this in place it will show employees thatit is a serious matter and is taken seriously. The policy itself should includea variety of procedures such as fair recruitment, equal salaries as well as thesame benefits and rewards for employees. The main benefit of a written policywithin the business is that it makes for easy following for current and futureemployees to go by.
The benefits of a company implementing gender equality is thatis will strongly enhance the reputation of the company and make it wellrecognised for its policies therefore will be looked high upon which then willlead to better opportunities for the company such more skilled candidatesapplying for job opportunities to overall improve the success of the business.Another benefit is that fair and equal treatment for women in the workplacewill show better performance levels by increasing motivation which againimproves the performance of the business. A diverse board of directors willoffer a variety of better decision making to help solve potential issue theorganisation may have as the problems will be looked at form a range ofdifferent perspectives rather than the same ideas.
Gender equality also improvethe ability of companies to attract talent and retain employees. some of themain disadvantages with companies trying to enforce gender equality are thatcompanies make sure that a certain percentage of their employees are womenwhich goes against the whole point of gender equality as companies will employwomen based on trying to get their own statistics and percentages up instead ofchoosing the best candidate for the role which may be very disheartening towomen in these role as they may just feel like they are there to make upnumbers rather than being the best person for the job itself. This links in witmotivation as females in the work place may not feel wanted therefore not havethe best attitude when performing tasks at work causing performance levels todrop which affects the company’s results. In conclusion gender equality has farmore positive influences for companies rather than negative ones for thecompany’s overall performance, profits, reputation, brand image etc.
Despitethis gender equality within the work place involves many difficulties withcurrent employee within a business as well as future employees applying for jobroles which mostly link in with motivation and employees feeling like theybelong and are wanted within the company. The biggest point within the wholegender equality situation is that although there are legislation and actsinvolving discrimination and diversity issues such as the equality act 2010there is still no exact proof of companies implementing these rules which hasultimately resulted is little to no progress in the last 10 years for genderequality.