November 10 marks Equal Pay Day, the day on which women are effectively no longer earning for the year due to the average 18% pay gap that is accepted as part of a woman’s working life. In honour of the day, The Stylist ran a campaign that encouraged women to leave work at 3:34pm, 18% earlier than the traditional 9-5 working day.
Efforts to close the pay gap can be greatly helped by encouraging women to pursue those careers that offer a more competitive wage. Better paid jobs, such as those in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) are dominated by men, with women making up only 14.4% of the workforce in these areas. A recent survey by the Open University found that 49% of women regret not pursuing careers in these areas, with 56% saying it was a lack of insight and advice about how to access these jobs whilst they were young that was a contributing factor. To read the full report by the Open University click here http://oro.open.ac.uk/47779/.
Our #RedrawTheBalance video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kJP1zPOfq_0) is evidence to the belief that only men can pursue certain jobs being formed in children’s minds at primary school age. In addition to the wage disparity and unequal spread of sector roles, women make up 54% of temp workers and 55% of zero hour contract workers, reinforcing the need to reach out to girls at a young age, when they are making decisions that will impact their futures.
Something as simple as talking to young girls about the different career paths they can pursue and encouraging them to aim high and broaden their horizons is invaluable to inspiring young girls to pursue their aspirations. Our Inspiring Women campaign has over 20,000 women talking to over 500,000 state school girls, empowering the next generation of women to dream big.
You can share this post to encourage the inspiring women that you know to sign up on our website http://www.inspiringthefuture.org/inspiring-women/ to volunteer to talk to school girls. All we ask is one hour, once a year for you to make a real difference.