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Labour: working for women? The economic case for female labour market participation

  • Date(s)
    29 September 2015
  • Time
  • Location
    Beachview Restaurant, 135 Kings Road, Brighton, BN1 2HX
Labour: working for women? The economic case for female labour market participation

‘Women are the single most underutilised economic asset. Growing the female workforce is key to competitiveness, growth and productivity.’ – OECD 2015.

This fringe seeks to find the progressive offer to support women in the labour market. Since the economic crisis, women have been faced with increasing levels of low-paying, temporary or insecure work. Bearing the brunt of the recession, women’s labour market engagement has become strained; what policy solutions enable more sustainable engagement? With 34 per cent of women not using their vote at all in the general election, providing a positive offer to enable women’s full participation in society is key. Labour must go further than the current race for increased childcare hours. Quality part-time work, truly flexible working arrangements, tailored back-to-work schemes and parity of leave entitlements are building blocks which could begin to unlock this dormant economic asset.

  • What is the uniquely ‘Labour’ alternative to government policy on childcare?
  • How can changes to legislation, such as shared parental leave, translate into behavioural change?
  • How can economic competitiveness and flexible working arrangements be reconciled?


Ellen Broomé, director of external affairs and programmes, Family and Childcare Trust

Seema Malhotra MP, shadow chief secretary to the Treasury

Nicola Smith, head of economic and social affairs, TUC                 

Chair: Yvonne Roberts, senior writer, The Observer

Partner: Family and Childcare Trust

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