We are at the beginning of Women’s history month, so we wanted to begin to celebrate Change Makers we admire – first up is Anna Whitehouse, or Mother Pukka as she often more commonly known.
Anna has been galvanising people across the UK to embrace flexible working since 2015. She’s on a passionate mission to enable everyone to have access to more flexible approaches to work, to prevent burn out and stress associated with rigid and fixed ways of working.
Covid-19 has hit women much harder than men in financial terms. Women across the globe are more likely to have lost their job owing to the pandemic — 1.8 times more likely according to McKinsey and Co*. The burden of care of both children and the elderly has fallen more squarely on the shoulders of women, reducing their ability to work. Mothers also are more likely to be furloughed and their hours have been cut back 50% more (Institute of Fiscal Studies).
Mother Pukka’s Flex Appeal and gender pay gap campaigns have gained traction and impact and since 2017 the UK Government began reporting on the gender pay gap.
However, when the Covid-19 pandemic struck, this reporting was put on hold. Mother Pukka again turned up the volume and joined forces with the TUC (National Trade Unions Congress) and the magazine Grazia to highlight this halt and U-turn by the UK government and campaigned for a reversal of that decision. The most recent ONS figures show the gender pay gap on all employees was 15.5% in April 2020, meaning that on average women in the UK were paid approximately 84p for every £1 men were paid. When the delayed reporting for this year is revealed at the end of 2021 this position is unlikely to have improved.
Now more than ever before, we have to step up to retain working mothers as well as change the status quo to bring back the ones that have been pushed out of the labour force.
So to all the working mothers AND fathers, let’s amplify Mother Pukka’s voice and double-down on the action.
For advice on how to support flexible practices in your business, check out the Flex Forever report, with advice and case studies on bow to make flex work for decades to come, not just through the COVID pandemic!
Watch: The Tedx Talk tedx lausanne
Read: Flex Forever Flex Forever Report
*McKinsey and Company global report COVID-19 and gender equality: Countering the regressive effects
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