The Great Debate UK
- Dr. Savita Kumra is a senior lecturer at Brunel Business School. The opinions expressed are her own. Reuters will host a “follow-the-sun” live blog on Monday, March 8, 2010, International Women’s Day. Please tune in.-
As we approach International Women’s Day, the usual excitement is in the air. A time when the contributions, progress and outstanding impact that women make to everyday society is celebrated is surely a time for some pride amongst us as women, but perhaps also a pause for some reflection.
While the great strides women have made in every aspect of public and private life cannot be denied, what can also not be denied is that there is some way to go in many walks of public life.
In 2008, 14.3 million women were in the UK workforce, compared with 16.9 million men (ONS, 2008). In the 2008 ‘Sex and Power Report’ published by the Equality and Human Rights Commission, we see that in the UK women comprise 19.3 percent of members of parliament in 2008 compared with 18.1 percent in 2003. In business, 11 percent of directors (executive and non-executive) in FTSE 100 companies were women, up from 8.6 percent in 2003. Progress has also been made in public appointments, with women comprising 26.6 percent of civil service top management in 2008, compared with 22.9 percent in 2003, and 9.6 percent of Senior judiciary (high court judge and above) in 2008, rising from 6.8 percent in 2003.
- Lindsey Nefesh-Clarke is the founder of Women’s Worldwide Web – an online charitable organisation designed to help empower women with access to micro-finance loans, education, mentoring and networking. She has an MBA from ESCP Europe Business School and is a Board Director of Enfants d’Asie. The opinions expressed are her own. Reuters will host a “follow-the-sun” live blog on Monday, March 8, 2010, International Women’s Day. Please tune in. -
As an educated European woman enjoying a fulfilling career, along with the majority of my female and male peers, the “angel in the house” curse and the “feminine mystique” malaise seem, in many ways, to have faded into history.