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Women for Women : “There is a long way to go before women with children can exercise real choice and equal opportunities”

Women Past and Present – Gender Inequality Still Thought To Exist

Guest Post by Samantha Bond, Junior Research Executive, Northstar Research Partners UK

Friday 8th March marks the 102nd anniversary of Women’s Day, which each year celebrates the economic, political and social achievements of women around the world. Over a hundred years on from its conception, when women were marching through the streets campaigning for their rights, one might expect the battle to have been won. Surely by now women are basking in the joys of equality?

Alas, unfortunately it seems this is not the case. Recent findings from a survey by Northstar Research show that professional women in the US and the UK continue to feel that they are not competing on an equal playing field in the workplace. In the UK, over a third of female professionals do not agree that women have the same opportunities for success as men and do not believe women earn as much for a similar job. In the US, almost half of female professionals and over half of male professionals do not agree that women earn as much as men for a similar job.

However, whilst this paints a pretty negative picture, the results show some generational differences, with gender inequality being felt to be more apparent by older women. For example, in the UK 30% of female professionals under 35 disagree that women earn as much as men for a similar job, compared to 45% of those over 35 who disagree.

This may not come as a surprise to many. It is well known that for a while now women have been outperforming men in education and in school girls are being taught to follow their career dreams with the world being their oyster. However, in reality, it seems the ‘endless’ possibilities promised to young women appear to have a sell-by-date that comes with motherhood. Entering their 30s, if a family is on the cards, women’s options start to narrow and work place discrimination increases – creating what is known as the ‘motherhood gap’.  Furthermore, for mothers who work or are considering this option, many are faced with the triple shift – paid work, household work and childcare.

Looking to the future, some improvements are in the government pipeline, such as the option of shared parental leave from 2015, income tax cuts and improved childcare options. However, whilst these are positive changes, there is a long way to go before women with children can exercise real choice and equal opportunities.

Thus, whilst society has made great leaps since the early 1900s, it is clear that Women’s Day is not only a day to celebrate the past, but also a day to reinvigorate momentum and highlight that ‘women’s issues’ are still very much present.

About Northstar Research Partners:

Northstar Research Partners (a member of the MDC Partners Network) is a leading global full-service market research and consulting firm, offering qualitative and quantitative studies plus consumer anthropology, with services across both consumer and business-to-business channels.

Its clients include eBay, Jaguar, Levi’s, LG, and more.

Samantha Bond



Samantha joined the Northstar team in early 2012 having developed a passion for research whilst studying Sociology and Social Policy at the University of Nottingham.

After university, she experienced a broad range of methodologies while interning at quantitative, qualitative and brand innovation agencies, working on a range of diverse brands and sectors, including Clarks, Persil and SABMiller.

From both her degree and industry experience, Samantha has developed a particular interest in qualitative research and has a genuine curiosity for consumers’ desires and aspirations, what motivates their behaviour and how this information can be used to build creative solutions to meet client’s needs.

When not working, Samantha is happiest travelling the world and exploring new places.
+44 (0)20 7259 1772


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