Career Academy

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Women in the Workforce #IWD2021

International Women's Day (IWD) is an annual celebration highlighting women's achievements in wider society; but perhaps more importantly raising awareness and campaigning for gender equality.

The team at BusinessLive posted a thoroughly immersive post which narrates 46 inspiring stories of British business women, from senior executives to self-made millionaires and female professionals representing business at elite levels. We certainly recommend reading this post for some inspirational stories in these challenging times. You can click here to read the post.

As a team of experienced recruitment professionals, CV writers and career consultants, we are supportive in the progressive movement towards a society which offers fairer opportunities for all.

We collated some statistics across from the Office of National Statistics looking at a range of social economic instances which may be a useful tool to measure progression for all professionals, HR managers and, particularly, the future generation.


More women than men are pursuing Higher Education in the UK

In 2018-2019, 57.1% of students enrolled in HE were women. Women were over half of all enrolled students and graduates at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels.

  • At the undergraduate level, women were 56.7% of all enrolled students and 57.6% of graduates

  • At the postgraduate level, women were 58.5% of all enrolled students and 59.6% of graduates

In 2018–2019, women were underrepresented in several subject areas of HE, including:

  • Computer Science = 18.4%

  • Engineering and Technology = 19.1%

  • Mathematical Sciences = 37.2%

  • Architecture, Building, and Planning= 38.5%

  • Physical Sciences = 43.3%

  • Business and Administrative Studies = 49.3%


Women's representation in the workforce is steadily increasing

More women are working than before. As of June 2020, more than two-thirds 72.7% of women aged 16–64 are employed, a percentage that has risen from 52.8% in the first quarter (January-March) of 1971, when the Office for National Statistics began recording this data.

  • By comparison, 80.1% of men aged 16–64 are employed.

The increase in the number of working women is due in part to changes made to the State Pension age for women, resulting in fewer women retiring between the ages of 60 and 65 years.

Gender Pay Gap

The gender pay gap is narrowing, but women employed full-time are still paid less than men

The gender pay gap for full- and part-time workers combined in the UK fell to 17.3% in 2019, meaning that women currently make approximately 82.7% of men’s median hourly wages.

  • Among full-time workers, the gender pay gap remains at 8.9%. It has decreased only 0.6 percentage points since 2012.

  • In skilled trades occupations, the gender pay gap is even wider at 22.4%

In 2017, the UK passed legislation requiring all employers with more than 250 employees to report their pay data.

  • In 2020, only half of 10,000 employers impacted by the law provided data after the UK government suspended the requirement due to the Covid-19 outbreak. The average gender gap among participating companies was 12.9%

The team at Empower Personnel Career Academy continue to support opportunities, career progression and CV support for all professionals, graduates or aspiring leaders. Our experienced consultants are available via live chat on our website from 9am to 6pm Monday to Friday. Here at Empower Personnel Career Academy we offer professional CV writing services available from our Career Marketplace. Our packages are available from just £49, or just 6 interest-free instalments of £8.17 when you pay by Laybuy. You can email the team: if you are looking for any further information and our consultants would be happy to assist you.


Catalyst, Quick Take: Women in the Workforce – UK (July 9, 2020).