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Employment equity is about fairness at work.

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It means people have the same opportunities to participate fully in employment regardless of their gender. Women are under-represented in higher-level jobs. Factors that contribute to the gender pay gap are:. For example, until the Equal Pay Act it was legal to set separate rates of pay for men and women, and exclude women from certain types of work.

Scottish Government

The opportunities and treatment of men and women workers are closely interrelated. Men and women cannot make the choices they want about how they share paid and unpaid work while gender affects employment.


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Pay and employment equity cannot be achieved for women or men unless the ways gender is affecting employment are identified and addressed. Improves the supply and the skill level of labour.

Gender pay gap has narrowed, but changed little in past decade | Pew Research Center

Having broader recruitment pools and employment practices unaffected by gender can upgrade workforce quality and productivity and help employers attract and retain the people their organisation needs. When people are in jobs they are best suited to, are fairly treated and rewarded for their productivity without gender playing a part, the labour market functions better. Better pay and conditions, such as the ability to work preferred hours, provide an incentive to enter and remain in paid work.

The Government supports putting into place pay and employment equity response plans, and recognises the obligations of public sector chief executives to make sure they continue to address and respond to any identified gender inequities as part of good management practice and being a good employer.

Government encourages voluntary participation of public and private sector organisations in pay and employment equity projects.


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  • Various organisations have pay and employment equity information, resources and tools available to both public and private sector organisations. Requires that men and women doing work requiring the same, or substantially similar, skill, effort, responsibility and working conditions are paid the same.

    In female-dominated occupations, you can look at what men would be paid to do the same work on the basis of skills, responsibility, conditions and degrees of effort as well as any undervaluation of the work that comes from current, historical or structural gender discrimination.

    Given the great amount of freedom you have as an academic to work whenever and wherever you want within limits , I was able to work full-time by working from home and catching up on work during the weekends and evenings when my baby was asleep or I had other childcare support available. It was hard and I lost a lot of sleep—but through such flexibility I was able to maintain my research career. I wondered whether similar patterns could be observed for other women in the UK. The results were remarkable.

    In our research, which was published in the journal Human Relations , we found that women who were able to use flexitime were only half as likely to reduce their working hours after the birth of their child. This effect was especially the case for the women who used flexitime prior to the birth of their child as well as after.

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    In the overall sample, more than half the women reduced their working hours after the birth of their child. But less than a quarter of the women who were able to use flexitime reduced their hours, with similar results for women who were able to work from home if they wanted to. This shows that, given the chance to work flexibly, many women would stay in work and maintain their hours and their pay after having children.

    Rather, they tend to be given more to high-skilled, higher educated workers in supervisory roles.

    On call at home

    Another recent study found that a large number of mothers are forced to leave their jobs after flexible working requests were turned down. The right to flexible working is crucial if we are to tackle the problem of gender inequality in the labor market—especially when it comes to having a balance at the top of the career ladder.

    This article was originally published on The Conversation.