Action group to tackle gender equality issues being set up in Guernsey

It follows a Chamber of Commerce event held on International Women's Day. Credit: ITV Channel TV.

An action group to tackle gender equality issues is being set up in Guernsey. It follows a Chamber of Commerce event held on International Women's Day.

Diane de Garis, Vice President of Guernsey Chamber of Commerce, said: “There was a really, really great energy in the room and lots of people were saying things like 'we don’t just want to come back again next year and be in the same position'.

"We’ve got this great room full of women who want to make some change happen so we spoke about a call to action, let’s set up an industry group, not necessarily just Chamber, across the different groups, get people involved and try and make some practical changes over the course of the next year."

She believes more needs to be done to push for equality in business, adding: "Women’s careers are massively impacted at the moment by life events like having children things like that, taking time off. They’re generally the carers.

"So it would be good to see something practical that would help them.

"We can see different initiatives in Jersey with paternity and maternity leave - perhaps we could have something like that here.

"It would benefit all and then maybe the woman wouldn’t always be the first choice of carer with their career impacted.”

She believes there are not enough women deputies in the States and explained: "Women are 51% of the population and they’re not 51% of the decision makers at the moment.”

Already there has been an "outpouring of people who have put their hands up to get involved", says Diane de Garis.

However, they are also looking for men to join.

When looking towards the future, she has hopes for what changes could be made to the island within a year.

She said: "Equal pay, childcare opportunities, better choices for women, being able to do my own tax return legally. All things where we are discriminated against at the moment, so less discrimination across the board.”