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EDITIONS
Thursday, 13 February, 2003, 15:25 GMT
Women 'stuck' in lower paid jobs
Women and young men
Women are more likely to work in lower paid jobs
The working lives of men and women are still profoundly influenced by their sex, according to the results of the 2001 census.

Women remain clustered in lower paid occupations, part-time work and are more likely to work in service jobs, according to its data on working patterns.

Women work on average 31.4 hours a week
Women in Barrow in Furness, Cumbria work the lowest number of hours on average - 28 hours a week
In Newham, London, men work the lowest hours - on average 39.5 hours a week
Long hours were least common for both women and men in Blaenau, Gwent
The highest percentage of permanently sick or disabled women was in Merthyr Tydfil, Wales and for men was in Easington, Durham

Equality campaigners said the figures confirmed that much more work was needed to help women improve their chances in the workplace.

In some parts of the country - notably the Isles of Scilly and parts of east London - women appeared to have good chances of becoming a manager or professional worker.

But the picture was very different in the service and administration sectors.

Sticking to stereotypes?

In the Isles of Scilly 54% of managers and senior officials were women, the census said.

In London, 50% of professionals in Hackney were women while in Tower Hamlets men had 48% of sales and customer service jobs.

But stereotypes still prevailed in many sectors.

Our education system needs to challenge the outdated ideas about women's and men's roles

Julie Mellor, Equal Opportunities Commission

On average women make up 84% of employees in personal services, such as jobs as care assistants, childminders and hairdressers.

As many as 78% of people doing administrative and secretarial work, and 71% of sales and customer services staff are women.

Men make up 91% of those working in skilled trades, such as mechanics, bricklayers and electricians, for example.

While 83% of process, plant and machine operatives, and 66% of managers, senior officials and professionals are men.

Work needed

Julie Mellor, chairwoman of the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC), said:" Britain needs to take action on several fronts to give women and men the same chances in life."

"Our education system needs to challenge the outdated ideas about women's and men's roles that still inform many young people's decisions about their futures, for example through more extensive work experience programmes."

In April, new flexible working regulations will be introduced by the government.

From April four million parents with a child under six and 200,000 mothers and fathers with disabled children up to the age of 18 will be able to request more flexible working.

Employers will have to provide good business reasons to say no.


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10 Feb 03 | Business
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