Sunday, 31 May 2009

Women not at the top in Fashion

Independent article about women's inequalities in industry in general and fashion in particular.

Reasons - inbuilt prejudice, old-fashioned attitudes (lol) and of course that old childcare problem.

Fashion designers and equalities campaigners complain that, while women account for 52 per cent of the workforce in the fashion and textiles sector, they occupy just 37 per cent of the top jobs, and are paid 15 per cent less than their male colleagues.

"Discrimination is everywhere, not just in male-dominated industries," said Katherine Rake, director of the Fawcett Society which campaigns for equality between men and women in the UK in areas such as pay and pensions. "Some employers do it unwittingly, so we are encouraging them to do mandatory pay audits to make sure they are not discriminating."

Although fashion is in the spotlight, some argue that the same obstacles block women's progress in all industries: in particular, that women continue to bear the brunt of childcare. The idea that a high-flying career is incompatible with motherhood is borne out by the statistics, which show that the average hourly wage for female workers prior to having children is 91 per cent of the male average, declining to 67 per cent for working mothers.

British women, on average, are paid 17.1 per cent less than their male colleagues, although this varies significantly from industry to industry. Recent research from the Equalities and Human Rights Commission last month revealed that women working in the financial sector earn, on average, a massive 55 per cent less then their male colleagues.

Many fashion insiders deny there is a problem with inequality; while others reject the idea that women are disadvantaged within their particular company, but confirm that it is a problem within the industry as a whole.

"The fashion industry is one of the largest employers for women, has many strong role models and provides a broad variety of career opportunities," said Caroline Rush, joint chair of the British Fashion Council.

"It is the whole thing of careers and children; they are very hard to juggle," said British designer Katherine Hamnett. "It tends to be gay men who are at the top in design – Yves St Laurent, etc," she added. "That's because they don't usually have any children at all, it is easy for them."

Click on title for full article

Sunday, 17 May 2009

More feminist than thou or damaging the 'cause'

A furore between more traditional feminists and those who proclaim the freedom to be bad.
Click on the title to read the article. I have skip-read - my quick precis may not be entirely accurate.

Friday, 15 May 2009

Pro Mujer

Click on the title to read about how small loans are helping women in Latin America. Another BBC article.

Thursday, 14 May 2009

The psychology of unequal pay?

Click on the title for a link to a BBC magazine article.

Whether anyone should aim for vast pay packets is another question entirely of course.

Monday, 11 May 2009

Women in Spain

A revealing article about Spain, and the role of women during the Franco years. No wonder, it concludes, that Spain is in the forefront of women's progress now.