Speaking in the government debate on ‘Gender in the Workplace’ held at Holyrood this afternoon, local MSP Ruth Maguire focused on the issue of occupational segregation caused by gender stereotypes and structural bias.

Local MSP Ruth Maguire speaking in the government debate on ‘Gender in the Workplace’ (Credit: BBC)

Whilst acknowledging that women are disproportionately affected, concentrated in unpaid and low paid work, Ruth highlighted how occupational segregation inhibits both men and women from fulfilling their individual potential, as well as being detrimental to Scotland’s overall economic and social well-being. As examples, Ruth cited figures showing that the lack of women in science and engineering occupations is estimated to represent a loss of £170 million per year to Scottish economy, and stressed the importance for young children of having positive male role models at nursery.

Ruth took this opportunity to commend the work being done in her constituency by Ayrshire College, which recently held another successful recruitment event to encourage men into programmes such as their HNC Social Care or HNC Early Education and Childcare, featuring the testimony of men working in caring roles and advertised by what Ruth described as ‘the very evocative and powerful’ ‘#thismancares’ campaign.