chapter  10
20 Pages

MAINSTREAMING EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES: SUCCEEDING WHEN ALL ELSE HAS FAILED?

BySusan Nott

One of this century’s constant themes has been women’s struggle for equality. Much of the effort to eliminate discrimination and promote equality between the sexes has been focused on the workplace. Antidiscrimination measures, such as the Equal Pay Act 1970, and social policy initiatives, such as the provision of maternity leave for pregnant workers,1 are familiar features of employment law. These initiatives have, however, produced limited gains. Whilst there are women who pursue well paid and rewarding careers, the statistics show that, generally speaking, women in the United Kingdom and, indeed, elsewhere in Europe, earn less than men, occupy the lower grades in the occupational hierarchy, experience higher rates of unemployment and are more likely to be low paid than men whilst in work, and poor once they have retired.2