The new Equality Bill – getting better pay and to the top in business!

Big BenHey listeners, Wpradio takes a sideways look at the Government’s new Equality Bill through the eyes of two women leaders – one in the TUC and the other in Management Studies:

Kay Carberry, Assistant General Secretary TUC

Too much or too little? The Government’s New Equality Bill has been published this week almost 40 years after the Equal Pay Act came into force. It brings together all of Britain’s Equality Legislation into one Act. As well as covering race, disability and gender the new Bill turns its attention to maternity, age, sexual orientation, religion, belief and gender reassignment.

Public sector bodies such as government departments, local authorities and health authorities, will have to comply with the provisions of the Act. The many businesses that supply them with services won’t be awarded contracts until they do too.

The Minister for Equality Harriet Harman says the Bill will “make Britain more equal” however, Shadow Minister for Women Theresa May remains broadly supportive although sceptical about the actual measures in the Bill.

With the pay gap still standing at 17 per cent, Boni Sones, asked the TUC’s Assistant General Secretary, Kay Carberry, if she was happy that the Bill went far enough?

She said: “The TUC warmly welcomes this Bill and we would like to congratulate the womens’ ministers on what they have achieved, there is lots of very good stuff in this Bill. On the Equal Pay aspects of the Bill we are a little bit disappointed…..we would like to have had fully fledged gender pay audits, but the Bill goes a little short of that.”

 It has been agreed that the TUC and CBI will be working with the Equality and Humand Rights Commission on getting the strongest possible recommendations for equal pay measures in order to get sufficient voluntary take up, if not the government will legislate.

Ms Carberry continues: “We are very pleased to have been invited to participate in the exercise in drawing up what the measurements are going to be and what the reporting requirements are going to be. We are going into this very seriously, whole heartedly and we want to make sure it is a very successful exercise.”

Dame Professor Dawson, the KPMG Professor of Management at Judge Business School at Cambridge University

Professor Dawson tells her thoughts on how women can progress in business, what distinct qualities women managers have, and if these can help get them to the top. She also grapples with those other sticky problems of the so called “glass ceiling” and gender pay differences.

Professor Dawson has managed to juggle bringing up a family, with a high flying career in business and management herself. She was Director of Judge Business School from 1995 to 2006 and has specialised in studying organisational structure and change. She is also now Master of Sidney Sussex College in Cambridge. Those close to you at home, she says, can help determine the success of your career.

Professor Dawson said: “I think individual managers have a style, women are certainly not one sort of style. In general you could say that probably more women then men are more empathetic, have more consideration for understanding other points of view and looking at a bigger picture, but there are some men who can do this as well and some women who can’t do it at all. I don’t think women are like this and men are like that, but on the balance of probability you might say some women managers have a greater humanity in the way they manage.”

 On the Government’s new Equality Bill Professor Dawson said: “This is something I have changed my views on over the years. I used to think, would making a law really make that much difference? But over time it does change people’s mind sets, it does change what they regard as legitimate…”

She continues: “Increasingly , board rooms, directors of human resources, operations managers will get into their mind that it is not legitimate to seriously discriminate against women in terms of pay, which all the evidence sugggests there is…not necessairly deliberately but that is the result.

“ I do think legilsation makes a difference. I think it begins to change what is legitimate and it begins to change the mind set so that things that were thought normal and natural become illegitimate over time. “

Her tip for the top: “I got used to having very little sleep when I brought up my children, ….I do think stamina and I do think optimism….a sense you can do something, you can do a job and making sure, if you can, you have relationships with people who also support you.

“If you go home to someone who does not share your commitment to your development it must be deeply frustrating and debilitating both for your relationship and your career. …choosing who you are with outside work is as important to your work situation as what happens in the work situation.”

Thanks to Judge Business School for allowing us to broadcast this podcast.

Kay and Sandra are interviewed by Boni Sones, Executive Director of


phew it’s all go here….