Coronavirus could turn back the clock on gender equality in the Channel Islands

A report from a major finance firm says the pandemic could push back progress on issues such as the gender pay gap and childcare. Credit: PA Images

A major finance firm has raised concerns that coronavirus could push back progress on gender equality in the Channel Islands.

PwC's latest report on women in work saw Jersey and Guernsey slip down the global rankings.

It says the pandemic could risk turning back the clock on issues such as the gender pay gap and childcare.

The index did, however, highlight the Channel Islands' strong performance in some areas, with high female participation in the labour force, and low female unemployment rates compared to the average.

The difference between pay for men and women is 21% in the Channel Islands - 5% higher than the UK.

That ranks as one of the worst gender pay gaps in the report, with only Estonia, Korea and Japan having a higher gap.

A five-point plan has now been set out to help get the islands back on track.

  • Future-Proof: Upskill to help women now, while equipping them with valuable future skills.

  • Diversity: Ensure marginalised groups are not disadvantaged by the coronavirus response.

  • Unpaid Care: Reduce the unpaid care burden on women with flexible working and shared parental leave.

  • Open Doors: Encourage greater female participation at work.

  • Be Open: Tell it how it is. Few private sector organisations disclose their gender pay gap.