Improving the participation of women in the sub-regional labour market has recently been the focus of a major research project by the Institute for Employment Research, commissioned by the Learning and Skills Council, Coventry and Warwickshire with funding support from the European Social Fund.
The project included three principal outcomes: a targeted review and analysis of research on gender discrimination in employment at a sub-regional (Coventry and Warwickshire), regional (West Midlands) and national (UK) level; a review of the dissemination of gender and employment related research relevant to the sub-region; and an action plan for improving women’s position in the sub-regional labour market.
Two regional events were organised: one for local employers and one for practitioners (including organisations such as the Connexions Service, local authorities, training providers, local colleges, and Jobcentre Plus). Their purpose was to enable key sub-regional actors to discuss critical issues and contribute to policy by feeding into the action-planning process. The research has, therefore, not only provided a comparative analysis of data on gender inequality at three levels, but has also facilitated dynamic interaction of the University with key, regional actors to produce a policy strategy to tackle that inequality.