Scratching Below the Surface of Gender Equality: understanding how local labour markets fail women and undermine gender equality

Sue Yeandle, Professor of Sociology, University of Leeds, UK.

16th Mar 2011 12:30pm-2:00pm The Darlington Centre, University of Sydney

This talk draws on an extensive body of evidence collected in the Gender and Employment in Local Labour Markets (GELLM) research programme, which produced 12 detailed Gender Profiles of labour markets in England and a set of six comparative studies on aspects of women's employment. Arguing that local level analysis is crucial to understanding why public policy relating to employment so often fails women, the paper considers some of the 'myths, puzzles and problems' about women's employment situation outlined in 'Policy for a Change: local labour market analysis and gender equality' (Policy Press, 2009). It is illustrated with evidence about why some women find it so difficult to access employment, and how job design and working hours trap many women in jobs that waste their skills and talents, leaving them 'working below potential' in poorly paid part-time work.

Professor Yeandle has led several major research programmes, including European Union projects, addressing issues of gender, employment and care.