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Fairer deals for women workers

The Government is developing an action plan to help women get a fairer deal in the workplace.

This follows its publication of the Women and Work Commission’s report, Shaping A Fairer Future. It highlighted a need to strip barriers to women from working in roles traditionally done by men, and made 40 recommendations to tackle job segregation and the gender pay gap.

Once the plan is formulated, the DTI will work with employers to attract more women into sectors with skills shortages such as motor retail. According to a study by the Equal Opportunities Commission, women account for less than 10% of the motor industry’s workforce.

Trade and industry secretary Alan Johnson says: “Businesses need to attract the best and the economy cannot afford the waste of talent that comes with under-using women’s skills.”

The Institute of the Motor Industry, itself headed by one of motor sector’s high profile women, Sarah Sillars, supports the development. Spokesman Stuart Brooks says: “The Institute is an advocate of more women entering the retail motor industry and, although still in the minority, there has been a modest increase in the number of female candidates that have registered for qualifications with the IMI. The range of careers is extensive and for ambitious, well qualified professionals of either gender, the rewards can be very attractive.

“In the past three years, twice have female technicians won the IMI’s Outstanding Technical Student Award, and the IMI supports its approved centre network in actively encouraging young women to consider a career in our sector.”

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