Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Improving the participation of women in the labour market

After three decades of equal opportunities legislation and policy, the participation of women in the labour market remains different and unequal from that of men (Bimrose et al., 2003). The Learning and Skills Council, Coventry and Warwickshire, with funding from the European Social Fund, commissioned the Warwick Institute for Employment Research to undertake research on improving the participation of women in the sub-regional labour market. The research project has produced:

  • a targeted review and analysis of research on gender discrimination in employment at a national (UK), regional (West Midlands) and sub-regional (Coventry and Warwickshire) level
  • a review of the dissemination of gender and employment related research relevant to the sub-region (presented in a separate report)
  • an Action Plan (presented in a separate report).

The report comprises of a targeted review and analysis of research into gender discrimination in employment on a national (UK), regional (West Midlands) and sub-regional (Coventry and Warwickshire) basis (a separate report examines the dissemination of findings relevant to the sub-region). Where relevant, reference is made to international evidence. Its specific focus is on what is currently known about gender segregation and related issues. As well as exploring gender differences between industrial sectors and occupational groups, the research will take account of the effect of factors: such as stages in the life-cycle, family/household context, age, ethnic origin and disability status. The aims of this research were to: examine issues related to gender discrimination in employment in Coventry and Warwickshire; and compare the findings locally with regional and national data. The key objectives are:

  • to review sub-regional (Coventry and Warwickshire), regional (the West Midlands) and national research data on gender discrimination in employment including segregation, pay, recruitment and training
  • to identify research gaps for the sub-region (that is, for Coventry and Warwickshire
  • to examine the extent and effectiveness of dissemination strategies for the findings of local research (presented in a separate report)
  • to produce an action plan based on emergent issues (presented in a separate report)

The main research findings follow:

  • women’s participation rates in the labour market are increasing
  • women do not constitute a homogeneous group: they have diverse labour market experiences
  • women are slightly outperforming men in compulsory and post-compulsory education in the majority of subjects


Bimrose, J., Green, A., Orton, M., Barnes, S-A., Scheibl, F., Galloway, S. & Baldauf, B. (2003) Improving the Participation of Women in the Labour Market: Coventry and Warwickshire, Coventry: Learning and Skills Council Coventry & Warwickshire.

Also available: Executive summary and Review of sub-regional dissemination

Project duration: 2002- 2003

IER project team:

Jenny Bimrose

Anne Green

Michael Orton

Beate Baldauf

Fiona Scriebl

Sally-Anne Barnes


Learning and Skills Council (Coventry)

 LSC logo

ESF logog