Opinions

Better the balance, better the world!

Written by: Louise Coupland, Employability Development Officer, the ALLIANCE

Published: 05/03/2019

Graphic of twelve people standing in a line holding hands, in multiple colours

The ALLIANCE celebrating individual and organisational achievements on International Women's Day

Louise looks ahead to International Women’s Day, which takes place on Friday 8th March.

International Women’s Day shines a light on an equality strand that is integral to a lot of the work we do at the ALLIANCE.

My development work in employability is driven by the desire to address the inequalities and barriers faced by disabled people and people living with long term conditions, as well as delivering on the values of dignity and respect, fairness and continuous improvement. The journalist Gloria Steinem said, ‘The story of women’s struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist nor to any one organisation but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights’.

The Scottish employability landscape is enriched with third sector organisations, delivering high quality and personalised services which support individuals to self manage and gain the skills to embark on and excel in an employability journey.

The complexity of gender inequality cuts across this work and can often be overlooked by wider policy and service providers. Balance is not a women’s issue, it’s a business issue. The race is on for the gender-balanced boardroom, a gender-balanced government, gender-balanced media coverage, a gender-balance of employees, more gender-balance in wealth, gender-balanced sports coverage and beyond.

Recent consultation on improving employment of disabled people in the public sector acknowledged that disabled women are more likely to be under employed. Furthermore, thirty five percent of disabled women are paid below the National Living Wage compared with twenty-five per cent of non-disabled men and twenty nine percent of non-disabled women.

The Equal Pay Act reporting requirements revealed almost eight in ten companies and public sector organisations paid men more than women and Close the Gap revealed nearly half of BME women have experienced racism, discrimination, racial prejudice and/or bias when applying for a job. Collective action and shared responsibility for driving a gender-balanced world is key. International Women’s Day is a global movement celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women – while also marking a call to action for accelerating gender balance.

It is a great opportunity for us to highlight the great work of the third sector and celebrate individual and organisational commitment to ‘better the balance, better the world’. The ALLIANCE brings together over 2700 members, many of which support women to self manage their long term condition but also to enable women to flourish and balance their workloads and responsibilities with learning about self-care, well being and achieving their own aspirations.

On Friday, the ALLIANCE will be sharing good practice via our website and social media channels. You can find out how to get involved by visiting the International Women’s Day website (this link will take you away from our website).

This is an important time to do everything possible to help create a more gender-balanced world. We have come a long way, yet there’s still more to be achieved.

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