A new government-backed report carried out by the Women’s Business Council in the UK has highlighted how Britain can create employment over the next five years for the 2.4million non-working women by embracing flexible working.
The study claims that if women were represented in the same numbers as men, GDP would be up 10% higher by 2030 which would dramatically boost the UK’s economic growth. Currently 67 per cent of working-age women are employed compared with 76 per cent of men.
"There is an overwhelming business case for maximising women's contribution to growth," the Women's Business Council says. It has identified key life stages including early education, parenthood and middle age when intervention could help to lift the number of working women.
To encourage flexible working, the report urges employers to offer employment contracts that reflect the job itself, rather than where and when it is done – avoiding terms such as “part-time” and “full-time”. The report also recommends that before women even enter the workplace, businesses and the government need to work with schools to broaden girls’ education choices and aspirations.
It calculates that two-thirds of women over the age of 50 work in just three sectors: education, health or retail and recommends retraining to enable them to work in other areas."By creating opportunity for all, raising aspirations and enabling people to maximise their talents, we will deliver stronger economic growth," said Ruby McGregor-Smith, chair of the Women's Business Council and chief executive of outsourcing firm MITIE.