Jowell to build action plan for women at work

Minister for women, Tessa Jowell, has been asked to produce an action plan in response to the report of the government’s Women and Work Commission.

The report, Shaping A Fairer Future, made 40 recommendations, including action to tackle the culture in schools and workplaces that creates job segregation and leaves women lagging behind men on pay.

The commission, headed by Baroness Prosser, also called for a national World of Work programme to improve vocational training and offer work-taster days for primary school children.

Jowell said the commission’s recommendations were innovative and cutting edge but also practical and acceptable to all key players.

“We will examine them in detail and produce an action plan setting out what the government and public services need to do to achieve the progress that women deserve and the economy needs,” she said.

Trade and industry secretary Alan Johnson will work with employers to develop programmes that remove the barriers to women in the workplace – particularly those working part-time.

“Businesses need to attract the best and the economy cannot afford the waste of talent that comes with under-using women’s skills and talents,” he said.

He added that some top names in business had agreed to act as exemplars to drive home the message that the gender pay gap is not only bad for women, it is bad for business.

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