International Women’s Day News Round-Up… To celebrate, we have rounded up the top news from today, from the gender pay gap to women in business…
The new chair of one of the UK’s most influential business groups has accused Britain’s biggest companies of lying when they say they cannot find enough female or ethnic minority directors. Charlotte Valeur, who joined the Institute of Directors (IoD) in September, said she would start calling for new laws next year to force firms to improve their diversity if FTSE 350 companies failed to make faster progress. Speaking to the Guardian ahead of International Women’s Day, Valeur criticised large listed companies for not achieving diversity targets. She said: “Do we really think that’s difficult? It’s a lie. It’s not difficult. “I will be very unpopular with FTSE 100 [companies], but I don’t actually mind, because it’s not true that it’s difficult.”
“Unfair obstacles” may be stopping women from starting and growing their own companies, the government has said.
Women still face too many barriers to setting up a business, says a far-reaching independent review released today.
The average woman works “for free” for the first two months of the year because of the gender pay gap, a new study suggests. The Trades Union Congress (TUC) published analysis that showed a 17.9% difference in earnings between women and men. It has prompted the union to label Wednesday “Women’s Pay Day”. It claims it will take 60 years for the gap to close at the current rate of progress.
Closing the UK’s gender pay gap would increase female earnings by £92bn, a rise of 20%, according to research from PwC.