Workplace Report February 2023

Equality news

‘Red wall’ women want action on pay

Women in “red wall” constituencies say that policies to tackle the gender pay gap will be a significant factor in deciding which party to vote for at a general election, a new Fawcett Society poll has revealed.

The equality body gathered data from women in constituencies across the Midlands and North of England, where the Conservative Party gained seats from Labour at the 2019 election.

More than four-fifths (84%) said proposals to reduce the gender pay gap would be an important election issue, while 36% would do more paid work if action were taken to provide flexible opportunities and help with caring responsibilities and childcare.

Policies to provide affordable childcare are an important consideration for 75% of female red wall voters, while 71% said measures that require employers to tackle the pay gap could sway their vote.

The Fawcett Society is calling on the government to make all organisations publish action plans and to lower the threshold for mandatory reporting to 100 employees. It also wants flexible working arrangements to be offered as default, for the childcare system to be reformed, and questions about salary history to be banned from job recruitment.