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The long road to workplace equality: international perspectives on gender wage gaps and progressive change

Thursday 28 January (09:30) - Thursday 25 February 2021 (12:00)
The Long Road ro Workplace Equality Workshop

Despite decades of state policy, legislation, case law, activism and research, women continue to be systematically paid less than men for equal and similar work. Equal pay reforms such as the UK's Equal Pay Act (1970) are rightly recorded as landmark moments in the struggle for equality. 

Gendered wage gaps and differentials have narrowed in many countries, but remain stubbornly resilient. This has become especially noticeable during the most recent wave of feminist activism and the Covid-19 pandemic. 

We also continue to observe discriminatory professional and occupational stereotyping, leading directly to women receiving less economic reward during and after working life. This should be a concern for everyone, in its economic, social, and material effects.

This workshop asked why such discrimination continues to frame all of our working lives, and looked towards a renewal of policymaking, law, activism, and research to challenge it. We bought together an international group of speakers to share their expertise in gender equality activism and policy, speaking to research and practice. The workshop was equally relevant to anyone working in this area as a policymaker, civil servant, activist, or academic.


9:30-9:40 Webinar opened by Equality Trust Executive Director Dr Wanda Wyporska.

Fifty years is long enough: Making illegal pay discrimination history

9:40-10:00 Chidi King, Director of Equality Department, International Trade Union Confederation

International and legal initiatives for equal pay

10:00-10:20 Geraldine Healy, Professor of Employment Relations, Queen Mary University of London

The complexity of gender pay gaps and drivers for change

10:20-10:40 Meghan Campbell, Senior Lecturer in Law, University of Birmingham

Transformative equality? Making the Sustainable Development Goals work for women

 10:50-11:10 Daniel Perez Del Prado, Professor of Workplace Rights and Social Security, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid

The economics of equal pay in times of austerity

11:10-11:30 Ragna Kemp Haraldsdóttir, Assistant Professor of Information Science, School of Social sciences, University of

Iceland Is work done by women worth less than work done by men? The Equal Pay Standard and the Equal Pay Gap

11:30-11:50 Tracy Warren, Professor of Sociology, Nottingham University Business School

Women’s work, class and COVID-19 in the UK: Turning back the clock on progress towards workplace equality?

11:50-12:00 Closing: Catherine Cassell, Dean, Birmingham Business School, University of Birmingham 

Living with and challenging the gender pay gap

Workshop recording

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