International Women’s Day – Celebrating Women in Law Pt 6
International Women’s Day has taken place annually for well over a century and this year the central theme is ‘Choose to Challenge’.
Tughans is marking the occasion by inviting our female lawyers to share their thoughts and experience and to celebrate women in law. Our contributors represent women at all stages of their legal career, from Trainee to Partner.
The final part of the series is from Patricia Rooney. Patricia is a Partner and a member of the Employment Team.
50 years of the The Equal Pay Act (NI)
As an employment lawyer, I often represent clients in cases alleging gender discrimination. Women raise complaints of this kind due to less favourable treatment on the grounds of pregnancy, harassment or equal pay. The Equal Pay Act (NI) celebrated its 50th birthday last year. The legislation, enacted in 1970, was championed by Barbara Castle MP, and followed strike action in 1968 by female sewing machinists at the Ford plant in Dagenham, claiming equal pay to that of their male colleagues. The Act requires equality of treatment in the terms and condition of employment.
Gender pay gap reporting is a requirement in GB and recent reports show that the pay disparity between men and women stood at 15.9% in 2020, down from 17.4% in 2019. The better news is that the gap is close to 0 for under 40s.
International Women’s Day is an opportunity to again recognise the need for equality in the workplace, remembering the individuals who did so much to promote that and those too who still strive to achieve it.
Patricia Rooney, Partner, Employment
Follow our LinkedIn and Twitter feeds for more on International Women’s Day 2021.