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Women still locked out of top jobs, City & Guilds Group reveals.

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New findings from leading skills organisation City & Guilds Group illuminate the array of challenges that are still facing women in the workplace today.

This month marks the 109th celebration of International Women’s Day. While the UK has taken great steps in striving for women’s rights over the last century, City & Guilds Group’s new research highlights the myriad of challenges that still unfairly plague women attempting to climb the career ladder.

According to City & Guilds Group’s report – which is based on findings from labour market economists Emsi and a poll of 5,000 working age people in the UK – alongside battling gender pay gaps and juggling primary care giving responsibilities, women are more than twice as likely to work part-time than their male peers (26 per cent vs 12 per cent), and are far more likely to hold no management responsibilities (49 per cent vs 39 per cent).

“While we have certainly made strides in levelling the playing field for gender equality, there is still a long way to go to ensure true equality in the workplace as women are still locked out of many top jobs,” said Kirstie Donnelly, CEO at City & Guilds Group. “UK unemployment is at a record low, but skills gaps are growing, and the needs of the workplace are evolving at an incredible pace, making it more important than ever for businesses to seize the potential of everyone within their workforce – regardless of their gender or contract terms. So many women are being denied valuable opportunities to upskill or progress, worryingly driven by factors such as part-time contracts and care requirements. We urgently need to see more employers adopt flexible working practices and take a fairer approach to training and development to increase the opportunities for women to rightly move up the career ladder and help fill skills gaps and drive up productivity in doing so.”

Part-time workers – a contingent made up of more women than men – are less likely to receive workplace training than full-time employees (62 per cent vs 72 per cent) and are also less inclined to believe there are opportunities for progression (22 per cent vs 36 per cent).

Old gender divides still exist surrounding the types of job roles that men and women do. The research found that women were four times more likely to work as a carer than men, and three times more likely to work as a shop assistant. Whilst men were six times more likely to work as an engineer and three times more likely to be working as a software developer or computer programmer. This suggests that there is much more work needed to divert women towards the STEM sector and into better paid careers generally.

City & Guilds Group is calling on business leaders to address this imbalance and take active steps to demonstrate how women can rise through the ranks; starting by investing in critical skills development for part-time workers.

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