Blog & Articles

The price of motherhood

Date: 15. March 2012
Vidhya Alakeson

For the first time last year, the hourly gap in pay between full-time working men and women fell to 10 percent. While that’s not good enough and is still higher than in much of the rest of Europe, it is a sign of enormous progress in reducing work place inequality. In 1997, the hourly full-time pay gap was double. Unfortunately, this is less true for mothers. While employment among women without children is similar to that of their male counterparts, employment among mothers falls far behind. So while we should celebrate our progress on gender equality, the price of motherhood remains too high.

Part of the high price of motherhood comes from the fact that many women with children want to work part-time but in order to do so, they have to take a big cut in position and pay.

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The lesson Cameron needs to learn from Birgitte Nyborg

Date: 9. February 2012
Gavin Kelly

This post originally appeared on Gavin's New Statesman blog

David Cameron has been in Stockholm this week, expressing his love for all things Nordic from economic openness, to free schools, and the Danish TV series The Killing.

Based on his pronouncements today he's doubtless also been attracted to Borgen, the political drama in which a female prime minister juggles coalition politics and the demands of a young family at the same time as driving through her commitment to equality in the corporate boardroom.

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Macroeconomic Analysis

Women’s work – an opportunity for growth we can’t afford to pass up

Date: 12. December 2011
James Plunkett and

This post originally appeared on Left Foot Forward

As economic forecasts continue to head south, it’s worth pausing to ask a simple question:

Where exactly do we expect future growth in living standards to come from – even once a recovery takes hold?

The list of possible answers to that question isn’t long.  In fact, when it comes to household income growth, there are effectively four:

    • Pay could grow faster than inflation

    • We could all work longer hours

    • More of us could work; or

    • The state could get more generous

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job centre sign

New figures show women’s employment prospects the worst for decades

Date: 14. September 2011
James Plunkett and

This post orginially appeared on Left Foot Forward

With the coalition’s efforts to win back female voters in the news today, this morning’s new employment stats (pdf) couldn’t have come at a worse time.

The figures on women’s employment are terrible.

First, underemployment – an area of particular importance to women in the jobs market – has reached historic highs:

    • The number of people working part-time because they can’t find full-time work is up 70,000 quarter-on-quarter to 1.28 million, the highest figure since records began in 1992.


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The coalition's woes with women

Date: 13. September 2011
Gavin Kelly and

If you want to see a fearful expression, talk to senior coalition members about shifting patterns of support among women voters. Call it a cold-sweat, or a premature onset of mid-term jitters -- they are distinctly, indisputably on edge. Which is odd, at least on the face of it, given that the Conservatives -- if not their Coalition partners -- are currently polling at broadly similar levels of support to the last election. So what explains this onset of nerves?

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Wake-up call on childcare

Date: 17. March 2011
Vidhya Alakeson and

This blog first appeared on Public Finance.

Speaking at the Liberal Democrat’s Spring Conference, Nick Clegg once again took up the cause of hard working families in Britain – his ‘alarm clock Britain’, the people who want to get up and get on.

But changes to the childcare tax credit announced in the Comprehensive Spending Review and due to come in this April will leave these very families worse off. This at time when families are already struggling to cope with the high costs of food and fuel and wage freezes.

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