'Barriers' for women at work

A report by an agency set up to help the economic development of Welsh women shows that while considerable progress has been made, gender inequality, stereotyping and segregation are still evident in the Welsh workplace.

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Minister 'looking at ways to improve affordable childcare'

Today's report will help us to take stock of the position of women in the Welsh workforce and highlight work that still needs to be done.

It is vital that we challenge stereotypes in subject choice at school and in the workplace and that this should begin at the earliest opportunity.

The costs and quality of childcare are a major concern for many parents who are in the workplace or who wish to work. The Welsh Government is committed to taking action to improve things for ordinary people and I am looking at ways to improve access to affordable childcare.

– Huw Lewis AM, Communities Minister

Lack of childcare 'affects woman's ability to work'

  • Just under 80% of women said being a builder was more suitable for a man and around half said that being a plumber or an electrician was more suitable for a man.
  • 78% of employers said lack of childcare affected a woman's ability to work fulltime, while they thought it only affected 48% of men's.
  • 60% of employers think that further action by the state would help to achieve equality.

'Mix of barriers' facing women in Wales' workforce

Two thirds of women in Wales work. Credit: David Parry/PA Archive/Press Association Images

A report by an agency set up to for the economic development of women in Wales has found that while women have made considerable progress in the Welsh workforce over the past 16 years, there is a "mix of barriers" facing them that limit their contribution to the Welsh economy.

Chwarae Teg said the reason why a woman's progress may be hindered is because powerful stereotypes and assumptions about the suitability of certain jobs for different genders "shape women's place in the workforce".

The report, which interviewed 600 women and 400 employers, found that many experience a skills squeeze - they are more highly qualified and more likely to receive in work training than men yet they continue to work in lower skilled jobs and receive lower pay.

It added that affordable and accessible childcare needs to be more available for women who want to balance child care responsibilities and work because at the moment some women feel a lack of childcare hindered their business opportunities.

The agency concluded that for Wales to successfully compete on a global stage the skills and experience of working women needs to be better utilised.