Gender inequality

Flexible working

An increasing number of companies are seeing the benefits of flexible working as listed below.

  • Job sharing - two people sharing the same job.
  • Working from home - some office jobs can be carried out from home.
  • Part-time working - somebody who works 25 hours per week.
  • Compressed hours - somebody working a 35 hour week over four days instead of five days.
  • Flexitime - somebody who has flexibility about when they start and end work but works certain 'core hours'.

Women in politics

The Scottish Parliament has led the way in having more family-friendly working hours and holidays. But the reality of political life means that our elected representatives still have to attend many evening meetings and are expected to be ‘always available, anytime’ by phone, email or social media. As such, those with family commitments such as looking after children and elderly relatives, who are still more likely to be women, are put off getting involved in politics.

Glass ceiling

The glass ceiling refers to a situation where women can see the path to the jobs at the top of an organisation, but there are invisible barriers preventing them from obtaining these posts. This can often be down to taking time out of a career to have children, general childcare, the inflexibility to work late or get in early or work weekends.

Work – type of job and hours

Over 40% of women work part-time, compared to just 12% of men. This leads to women automatically earning less. However, women who are working part-time tend to work in lower skilled, lower paid roles. These are called the ‘5 C’s’: caring, clerical, cashiering, catering, and cleaning. Only 12% of women who work part time in the private sector are in high-skilled jobs.