Archive for July, 2006

Women Take Part

Click here to visit our webpage hosting the Closing the gap and other women take part reports.

There is a power gap in our institutions and workplaces. Women are much less likely than men to reach the top of their professions. Only 10% of directorships of FTSE 100 companies are held by women. In today’s workplace requesting flexible working can still spell career death for many women. Instead they often have to ‘trade down’ when they take on caring roles and then lose out on the top jobs.

When it comes to political representation the situation is no better. Currently less than 20% of MPs are female, and at the current rate of change it will take up to 200 years to achieve an equal number of men and women in the Westminster Parliament.

For certain groups of women, for example ethnic minority women, their representation is even lower.The power gap needs to be closed, with true representation for all groups of women, including ethnic minority women, disabled women, lesbians, and women of all ages and faiths. Shared power would be an important sign of gender equality – it will show us that we have managed to complete the social revolution

In 2007- 2008 changes undertook research for the Government Equalities Office to produce guidance on models, approaches and resources which can be used to encourage, equip and support women who are currently under represented, to become more active, both formally and informally, in governance structures and other aspects of both civic and civil life.

This work followed on from the work that we had been involved in as part of Take Part.

Where Take Part started… In 2004 the Civil Renewal Unit (now part of the Department of Communities and Local Government) set up the Active Learning for Active Citizenship (ALAC) programme, bringing together seven regional ‘hubs’ all based on existing community learning programmes.

The hubs took very different routes to ‘citizenship learning’, yet shared similar values and principles: social justice, participation, equality, diversity and cooperation. The programmes were all about creating opportunities for people to use their knowledge and capacity to shape their lives and their communities. It is widely acknowledged that many people feel disengaged and unable to exert influence on the wider world they live in; they support democracy as a principle but do not see or feel it in action in their everyday lives.

The regional hub organisations who took part in the pilot have formed the National Take Part Network and created the Take Part Learning Framework to share their good practice and guidance for other learning providers.

changes has been involved in this work from the beginning through the West Midlands/Black Country Hub and we have produced an evaluation of our work on ‘Impact! – Women Active in Community and Public Life’ programme (available in pdf format)

The Impact Evaluation Report (8 pages; 237kb)

The Original Report on Women, Leadership, Participation & Involvement (30 pages; 928kb)

Monday, July 17th, 2006 Equalities & Diversity