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Video summary - Women in work

Released: 25 September 2013

Also in this release

This is a short video on women in the labour market in 2013.

Firstly looking at employment rates for men and women from 1971 to 2013. The employment rates for men and women have changed over time. While the rate for men has gone down, from 92% in 1971 to 76% in 2013, the rate for women has gone up, from 53% in 1971 to 67% in 2013.

Focusing on the rising rate for women we note the following changes to the UK over this period of time that may have had an impact:

In 1970 there was the introduction of the Equal Pay Act, this was followed by the Sex discrimination Act and the Employment Protection Act in 1975.

Moving on to more recent developments, in 2008 there were changes to lone parent income support and 2010 saw the beginning of the ongoing increase in the state pension age for women.

Furthermore, over the whole period the UK has seen growth in services and decline of manufacturing. This has impacted on women as they are more likely to work in services than manufacturing.

Focusing now on a comparison of 2013 with 1993 by looking at the employment rates for women by age, there are two key points to notice: 

Firstly, in 2013 the employment rate for women levelled off at a later age than in 1993. This coincides with an increase in the average age a women has her first child, from 26 to 28.

Secondly, in 2013 the fall in employment rates started to fall at a later age than in 1993. This coincides with an ongoing increase in the state pension age for women.

Moving on now to consider the percentage of women in each occupation group. Roles in caring and leisure, administrative and secretarial and sales and customer service were dominated by women. Professional, elementary and technical roles had a fairly equal gender split and managers and senior officials, machine operatives and jobs in skilled trades were dominated by men.

Focusing now on the percentage of women working in senior management roles and comparing the UK percentage with those from countries across the EU. We can see that Latvia and Lithuania had the two highest percentages in the EU and Luxembourg and Cyprus had the two lowest. We can also see that the UK’s percentage was a slightly higher than the EU average and also above the percentage in some of our major EU neighbours.

Finally, going back to look at the UK and focusing on the gender split of the top earners in each age group.
Looking at the top 10% of earners in each age group we can see that for the younger age groups the gender split was fairly equal, however as age increased the percentage of women in the top 10% tended to decrease.

That was women in the labour market in 2013.

Source: Office for National Statistics

Background notes

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