TISC PN35 0506



Telephone: 020 7219 5777/5779

PN 35 of Session 2005-06


Inquiry into Implementation of the report of the Women and Work Commission

The Trade and Industry Committee is today announcing the setting up of a Sub-Committee to conduct an inquiry into implementation of the report of the Women and Work Commission, Shaping a Fairer Future.

In April 2005, its predecessor Committee published a Report Jobs for the girls: occupational segregation and the gender pay gap (Sixteenth Report of Session 2004-05, HC 300-I). The tendency of men and women to work in different occupations, and the associated tendency of predominantly female occupations to be lower paid and lower valued than men's, have a major effect on the gender pay gap in the UK; but such occupational segregation also deprives employers of potential recruits€”a factor of particular importance in areas of skills shortages. The Government identified such occupational segregation as a priority issue for examination by the Women and Work Commission, which was set up in July 2004.

The Committee commented:

"Our aim in undertaking this inquiry was to produce some practical suggestions on how to tackle occupational segregation. Unfortunately, the inquiry has been curtailed because of the expectation that a general election will take place shortly. We have therefore been unable to treat the issues as comprehensively as we wished. However, we believe that there is value in publishing our conclusions and recommendations based on the evidence we have received. This is an important subject, and we hope that our successors will return to it in due course, perhaps in the context of the final report from the Women and Work Commission later this year." (Paragraph 3)

The Women and Work Commission has, in its turn, made a number of practical suggestions about addressing what it describes as "the pay and opportunity gap". The sub-Committee will examine:

  • the extent to which these suggestions meet the concerns of those who gave evidence to the Committee in the last Parliament;

  • what the Government and other public bodies, employers and trade unions are doing to implement the recommendations of the Women and Work Commission.

The Committee invites written submissions to this inquiry to be submitted, as a MS Word document, by e-mail to tradeindcom@parliament.uk with a single hard copy sent to the Clerk of the Committee at the address above by 5.00 pm on Thursday 22 June 2006. Details of oral evidence hearings will be announced shortly after that date.

The report of the Women and Work Commission published in March 2006 is available at http://www.womenandequalityunit.gov.uk/women_work_commission/

For further information about the inquiry please call the Committee Office on 020 7219 5777/5779.

25 May 2006