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Whilst we are still in the midst of this terrible healthcare and economic crisis, we shouldn’t lose sight of the way business has adapted rapidly. When workplaces open up again, what changes should become permanent? Could this be a moment of acceleration for gender inclusion at every level.

The Institute for Fiscal Studies found that women and U-25s are seeing the most financial impact from COVID-19, as the majority of staff in the worst affected industries e.g. hospitality and retail are women and young people on low pay.

Boudicca In Face Masks

Moya Greene writes:

Last night my husband and I watched Made in Dagenham. It is just as fresh and poignant and uplifting as it was when it first came out ten years ago.

It tells the story of the Ford women , the sewing machinists, who in 1968 surprised everyone including union bosses by striking for equal pay. They won!

Their insistance that the lower women’s wage was not fair because sewing car seat covers required as much skill as the jobs in the plant done by men. This sparked fierce debate everywhere,changed attitudes and finally the law. So in 1970 Britain passed the Equal Pay Act.

I’ve been thinking that one of the important back stories of this pandemic is how value gets ascribed to jobs and whole occupational groups.

How can it be right that the most essential workers in this lock-downed country are so lowly paid ?

Not always, but often they are women.. the nurses, the lab technicians, the test administrators, the medical records clerks, the care workers, the retail workers, the warehouse workers. Working long shifts, and now in the most stressful of circumstances.

We are grateful now, saying thank you .. good.. but maybe it is high time we paid them properly?

When this is over we need to have a Dagenham moment..take a considered look at this.

We would create a very different society if we did something unthinkable only yesterday, ..if we paid the nurses more , and the bankers less, .. if the fruit pickers and retail clerks in the grocery stores made as much as the insurance salesmen.

Just a thought…

official judgement

Samira Ahmed Judgement: It’s been announced that Samira Ahmed has won her employment tribunal. You can find the judgement (as a downloadable pdf) on our resources page.

News

Sarah Montague, the BBC radio presenter, confirmed via a number of tweets that she has won her negotiations with the BBC resulting in a settlement of £400,000 and an apology from the BBC for being treated ‘unequally’.

The BBC report of the story is here.

News

Condé  Nast has announced it will cease the use of non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) in relation to harassment and discrimination. The company has also confirmed it plans to release some existing employees from harassment or discrimination linked arrangements.

The Daily Beast has a full report here.