Why Yorkshire has been named as one of the UK's worst for female empowerment

Yorkshire has been ranked as one of the poorest regions in the country for female empowerment.

Yorkshire named among UK's worst

A report from professional services firm PwC published today showed while Yorkshire had seen improvements in both female labour force and the gap in male/female labour force participation rates, it was still rated as 10th out of 12 regions.

Key challenges for the region were stated as being continuing high female unemployment and female full-time employment rates together with a decline in gender pay gap.

Sign up to our Business newsletter

Sign up to our Business newsletter

The South West, Northern Ireland and Wales are the top performing UK regions, with all regions except Scotland improving their absolute score since last year.

London was the poorest region according to PwC’s data published in its Women in Work Index.

Internationally, the UK held firm at 16th place and is being outpaced by greater improvements in female employment prospects in other OECD countries. The top three countries in the index are Iceland, Sweden and Slovenia.

Jing Teow, economist at PwC, said: “Although progress has been made across both the UK and OECD, the rate of improvement is still slow, despite the prospect of huge economic gains from increasing female participation in the workforce for both the OECD and UK. Indeed both could receive massive boosts to GDP amounting to £4.63 trillion and £189bn respectively.

“But in order for these gains to be realised, businesses and governments need to work together to help get more women into work and ensure that there is a fair and equal pay structure.

“It’s also crucial that women get the right opportunities to upskill in the face of increasing automation as we enter the fourth industrial revolution.”

The study also finds that AI and new technologies such as robotics, drones and driverless vehicles could displace jobs for women, but can also create new ones.

Fewer female jobs are expected to be lost from automation relative to jobs lost for the male population in the OECD, but the gains from job creation are likely to be bigger for men than women.

The health and social care sector, the largest employer of women in the OECD is expected to experience a net increase in female employment as a result of technology.

Although the UK performed above the OECD average and is second only to Canada when compared to other G7 economies, its position has barely budged since 2000 when it stood at 17th position.