There is a lot of data produced about diversity and much of this focuses on gender. We comment on pay and promotion and there is clearly a lot more to change and improve. But progress is being made certainly at a big picture level, this report which forms part of the OECD economic outlook shows that the employment rate of women has been rising for years and the gap is the smallest ever in the UK.
So let's celebrate progress whilst we continue to address the ongoing issues.
In 1971, the starting point for Britain’s Labour Force Survey, the male rate was 92.1% and the female rate just 52.7% — a gap of nearly 40 percentage points. Now the gap is down to just 9 percentage points, and closing. While the female employment rate has never been higher, a male employment rate of just under 80% would once have been regarded as very low. There are long-term trends at work here. And this — along with the fact, as the OECD points out, that what is happening is international in nature — suggests changes in the pension age are only a small part of the story. Government policy has made a difference, both over the decades of rising female employment and more recently. Improved childcare arrangements and assistance, and enhanced parental leave, have had an impact.