Last updated: 29.04.14

Training at heart of efforts for workplace gender equality in Wales

Training has an important role to play in fighting gender stereotypes in the workplace, it has been claimed. 

According to Chwarae Teg, a charity dedicated to achieving equality for women in Wales, action against gender stereotyping should be introduced by the next Welsh government as a key performance indicator for training providers, employers and schools that receive public funding.

The group has identified nine measures it believes will lead to a more prosperous future for women in Wales, including pre-career training for all new teachers to help ensure are avoiding gender bias in their lessons. Indeed, the focus of many of the points is ensuring that current biases are not passed on to the next generation of businessmakers.

According to Wales Online, it recommends that all pupils should be offered a full range of work experience opportunities rather than being steered towards traditional male and female roles based on their gender; and also wants schools to invite more female role models from business and science backgrounds to talk to students.

Further education colleges and universities should also receive funding incentives for achieving a better gender balance among those signing up for courses, according to Chwarae Teg. Among the other points in its action plan, the charity wants the government to produce data highlighting apprenticeship schemes that are dominated by one gender or the other.

Tailored job support should also be provided to help get young mothers who are unemployed back into work once the are ready, while employers should pursue the creation of more mentoring and support networks for female staff in sectors where they are currently under-represented.

Joy Kent, chief executive of the organisation, told Wales Online: "We still live in a society where we see men as earners first and carers second and women as carers first and earners second. There's no single answer to this - all of us and all of our institutions and organisations need to take action to change these outdated and deeply-embedded stereotypes."

For organisations wishing to encourage greater gender equality in their organisations, Virtual College offers a popular Equality and Diversity course, which staff can complete online.