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What will 2017 hold for equality?

The USA has now voted for a new President and the UK for BREXIT - all this during 2016 and both events are considered to have produced shock results. Some believe that the ramifications - to be felt more keenly next year - will affect women as a group profoundly, with losses to equality measures that have been fought for so keenly during the last decades.

Additionally today is Equal pay Day. Noted by equality groups and the media in the UK as an important yearly date, it highlights - despite the introduction of the Equal Pay act in1970 - that the average British woman still earns 13.9% less than her male counterpart. Women are more likely to be in low-paid, low-skilled jobs compared to men. 90% of the STEM workforce is male and 80% of care workers are women.*

The pay gap has closed a little since last year, but despite the fears of some over recent political events, could there be hope for working women next year?

In 2017 large organisations will be asked to start reporting their pay gap data, and the following year allow these findings to be made available publicly. Will this be an important step in the race for equality?

Essential work into equality is currently being carried out by Oxford Brookes University's Centre for Diversity Policy Research and Practice with a focus on "women and leadership" and "work life balance" among other areas.

Established in 2004, it brings together academic and management expertise from the School of Law, Faculty of Business and Directorate of Human Resources.

The Centre's Director, Professor Simonetta Manfredi, has just published research along with KPMG and the 30% Club into the importance of the inclusion of academics on company boards, and within this group the important role that women academics can play.

Please watch an interview with her on the future of the Centre's research work:

* Figures produced by the Fawcett Society


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