What Women Want: Ending The Care Penalty In The Workplace


2 March 2022
Zoom and live stream

Every day across the UK, the working lives of millions of women are disrupted because of care responsibilities. The division of unpaid labour continues to perpetuate gender inequalities in the world of work and has a significant impact on women’s careers. Opportunities are foregone, potential is limited, hours are reduced, and wages are lowered for many women who are simply expected to juggle their family and working lives. Not only has this had a detrimental impact on women in the labour market, but it has also harmed wider society by diminishing the diversity of the workplace, undermining the government's efforts to level up the UK.

Inclusive economic growth requires us to rewire our economy to ensure fairness through flexibility for those with caring obligations. This event builds on key insights from CPP’s first report focused on childcare published last year laying out new key findings and emerging recommendations from the Centre’s upcoming second report as part of our Women in the Labour Market programme of work. The discussion brings together Stella Creasy MP, one of the UK’s most vocal politicians on gender equality, the Women’s Budget Group’s Director Mary-Ann Stephenson, and Emma Stewart from Timewise, the UK’s specialist talent consultancy focused on flexible working. They will be joining CPP’s Co-Director Ben Franklin, and Research Analyst Dean Hochlaf, to explore the extent to which unpaid care impacts women in work and the role that more flexible work can play in tackling gender inequalities in the UK.

How do caring responsibilities impact women’s career progression? Who is responsible for creating a working environment that accommodates care responsibilities? What policies are needed to build flexibility into jobs without compromising pay and working conditions? These are just some of the questions that need answering, so that the UK can deliver on the promise of providing women greater choice over how they manage their lives, both at home and in the workplace.

Stella Creasy

Member of Parliament for Walthamstow

Stella Creasy is Labour and Co-operative MP for Walthamstow. She was elected as the Labour and Co-operative MP for Walthamstow in May 2010. Prior to that she was the Head of Campaigns at the Scout Association, working to support young people across the country in developing their own advocacy skills. Prior to that, she was the Deputy Director at the not-for-profit organisation Involve, leading a team of researchers developing new ways to revitalise British democracy. Stella served on Waltham Forest Council between 2002 and 2006, performing a range of roles including being the Mayor, Deputy Mayor and Chief Whip as well as councillor for Lea Bridge ward in the south of Walthamstow. She has also been part of the Labour movement for many years and has sought to contribute to debate, discussion and decision making within progressive politics throughout her life- whether in Walthamstow as a branch secretary, GC delegate, LGC delegate or a campaign organiser or nationally through being involved in the Co-op Movement, the Fabian Society, Compass, Unite, Progress or SERA.

Mary-Ann Stephenson

Women's Budget Group & CPP Advisory Group

Member for the report. Mary-Ann Stephenson has been active in the Women’s Budget Group for over twenty years, and was appointed as its first Director in 2017. Prior to this role, she was a freelance consultant specialising in women’s equality and human rights and has been Director of the Fawcett Society and a Commissioner on the Women’s National Commission. She is a trustee of Coventry Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre and of Just Fair. She has a PhD in Law from the University of Warwick.

Emma Stewart

Co-Founder & Development Director, Timewise

Emma’s role as Development Director sees her working with businesses, thought leaders, policy makers and social reformers to test and scale innovative solutions which deliver successful, sustainable, two-way flexibility. She has contributed to numerous government task-forces, reports and initiatives, focusing on how to encourage more people who need to work flexibly into the workplace, shape the labour markets of the future and raise family living standards.

Prior to co-founding Timewise and Women Like Us, Emma worked in a range of development roles across the private, civic society and social enterprise sectors and within documentary television.

Dean Hochlaf

Research Analyst at Centre for Progressive Policy & co-author of the report

Dean is a research analyst with a focus on skills and wider interest in economic policy. He was previously a researcher at the Institute for Progressive Policy, focusing on public services, social security and the labour market. He holds an MSc in International Finance and Economic Development from the University of Kent.

Chair: Ben Franklin

Co-Director at the Centre for Progressive Policy

Ben leads the development of the Centre’s original research programme. Most recently, Ben was Assistant Director of Research and Policy at the International Longevity Centre, exploring the economic implications of demographic change. Before this, Ben undertook economic analysis for the Financial Conduct Authority, and has also worked in research and policy for the Chartered Insurance Institute and HM Treasury.