It is widely claimed that social enterprise contribute towards gender equality through both their outward facing mission– i.e. a focus on gender equality – and through their internal working practices – i.e. a higher propensity for women to be involved as leaders, employees and volunteers.
The focus of this webinar is women’s involvement in social ventures, and particularly their representation at the highest levels.
Simon Teasdale who has been involved in the field of social enterprise for 15 years, beginning at the Big Issue in the North in the early 1990s, will present this Webinar. Since then he has been employed as a researcher at the Institute for Volunteering Research and Crisis, while lecturing part time on the University of East London’s BA Social Enterprise. He moved to Birmingham in 2009 to take up a position as research fellow within TSRC.
Simon will also be inviting one other speaker to join him in this webinar.
Existing research carried out by TSRC shows that women are comparatively overrepresented in social ventures as compared to private companies, both as employees, higher managers and professionals, and board members. On average women earn more when working in social ventures rather than private companies, and the gender pay differential is smaller in the third sector than both the public and private sectors.
However the picture is far from perfect. Even within social ventures men are more represented at higher management than are women. Moreover it would appear that this is particularly the case among larger and more formal organisations.
This pattern is replicated when looking at governance structures. Analysis of social enterprise boards has shown that despite women making up the majority of employees, they constituted a minority of board members. Gendered patterns of board structure show that women are overrepresented on the boards of smaller companies and in traditionally feminised industries such as Health and Social Care, and Education, and underrepresented among larger companies and among ‘masculine’ industries such as environmental and recycling services, and business support.
It might appear then that the glass ceiling is still in existence among social ventures, with women making up a minority of higher managerial staff and board members, despite constituting a majority of all employees.
This webinar seeks to understand the reasons for this glass ceiling, and consider how it might be shattered in order that social ventures can practice what they preach