BREAKING NEW GROUND FOR WOMEN
I am standing to be the first female metro mayor in the country, I understand first hand the barriers facing women in achieving equality in the workplace, politics and business. I have developed a policy section specifically for women. So often, women are disproportionately impacted by public policy such as cuts to public services which have affected women more than men. Working women are often paid less than working men – even when doing the same job. Changes to family benefits, high childcare costs and the rising cost of living has financially disadvantaged women. Often women’s voices go unheard, which is something I intend to change, for good.
- CHAMPIONING WOMEN’S EQUALITY
-- POLICY AND CAMPAIGNS
The TVCA needs opening up to ensure that the policies it pursues are properly scrutinised from a women’s perspective and the same goes for our local authorities too. The TUC and regional trade unions can help us to tackle discrimination in the workplace whilst championing women’s issues such as the Period Dignity campaign. On top of this I’m passionate about promote the “3%” campaign that encourages women to take up roles in traditionally male dominated industries helping them become more diverse.
-- WOMEN INTO BUSINESS
Much more support needs to go towards women entrepreneurs in both traditional business and social enterprise. Let’s start a women’s new business grant and investment fund. Within established businesses let’s insist on more family-friendly policies and leave no stone unturned until we drive the gender pay gap right out of Teesside.
-- WOMENS’ TRADES COLLEGE
I have a vision to work with local education providers to develop the country’s first female trade and employment college and support centre, providing courses and employment support tailored to women.
It will have a specific focus on:
i) Women who face exclusion and barriers within the workplace, such as those with health or childcare needs
ii) Women who are older
iii) Women who want to change careers or progress within the workplace
iv) Women who want to work within STEM and industries perceived to be ‘traditionally male’
- VALUING CARE
-- SUPPORT FOR CARERS
Women still carry the large proportion of caring responsibilities within our communities, whether that be raising children or caring family members who are elderly or unwell. Under Tory austerity support for those in caring roles has been cut to the bone. I want to find practical ways of letting carers know how valued they are.
-- A BETTER DEAL FOR CARE WORKERS
One of the most important forms of employment in our communities is caring for those who are elderly and infirm. Tens of thousands of Teessiders work in the sector, predominantly women, many of whom are paid minimum wage for doing a really stressful job. Getting these wonderful women a better deal has to be a fight worth having. This could include the creation of a care academy, delivered in partnership or supported by trade unions to ensure a professionalisation and unionisation of the care sector.