With a gender pay gap of 13.9% according to The Fawcett Society, the difference between the average man’s income and the average woman’s is one of the clearest indications of gender inequality in the UK.
It’s been illegal to pay women less than men for equal work since 1970, but discrimination remains an issue and studies indicate that women are often less confident about negotiating salaries than their male colleagues.
Find out how to get a pay rise at the WOW – Women of the World festival’s practical workshop, Please Sir Can I Have Some More, led by Melanie Eusebe, founder of the Black British Business Awards, and Stevie Spring.
Melanie is also an executive producer of WOW. Here she tells us why gender equality is connected to economic empowerment.
What would you like to see happen for women this year?
I would like for the women's movement to come together as one. Currently it’s quite fragmented in regards to race, gender, class and geography, with feminism being represented in media by one type of woman. All feminists need to personally check that we are being as inclusive as possible in our outlook. In particular, feminist leaders need to be sure that we do our best to represent all women and not just those that we are most familiar with. With true representation and collaboration, the equality movement can be the catalyst for the empowerment of all.
What would you personally like to do to improve women's lives this year?
I don’t think we can claim equality unless there is economic empowerment of women, and this needs to occur in many ways, from equal pay to equal opportunity. I will continue to be an advocate for women's economic empowerment and, of course, deliver my session at WOW festival with Stevie Spring, How to get a pay-rise. I would like all women to get really comfortable about their money and know the inherent value that they bring to the market, wherever they are in their lives.
What one thing would you recommend people do to help create a better world for women?
Come to WOW festival, of course! It truly is a celebration and even after all these years I still leave feeling inspired, with my eyes opened in all sorts of new ways. It’s for everyone who loves women and it is welcoming to all, with both free and ticketed events.