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More needs to be done for women in work, says PwC

Mar 05
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It’s International Women’s Day on Monday (March 8th), making it a particularly appropriate time to look at how the pandemic has affected women in the workplace.

In the wake of chancellor Rishi Sunak’s Budget, PwC partner Brenda Trenowden has spoken about the need for more measures to help support women at this time.

She pointed out that the chances of a woman working in a sector that has been shut down completely because of the pandemic are a third more likely than men.

Therefore she welcomed the extension of the furlough scheme and a host of other measures to support struggling sectors, but called for more emphasis on women.

Ms Trenowden said: “More needs to be done to ensure women have access to jobs of the future.  

“The small business digital skills plan is laudable but key will be ensuring it is female-friendly, as our research shows women are less likely to pursue technology-related careers and opportunities.”

It was hard to identify areas of the Budget that addressed many of the underlying issues that have been disproportionately experienced by women during lockdown.

These include the burden of care, with many women taking on more of a responsibility for looking after children and homeschooling than their male partners.

Research conducted by UN Women and Ipsos found that before Covid-19, the average amount of time women spent on childcare was 26 hours per week, but this has increased to 31 hours since the outbreak of the pandemic.

For men prior to the pandemic, the average amount of time caring for children each week stood at 20 hours, and that has gone up to 24 hours, as they shoulder less of the responsibility.

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