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Thomson Reuters Legal Debate: are quotas the solution to gender equality in the workplace?

The awareness around gender equality in the workplace has gained momentum in recent years. High profile campaigns, greater transparency, and some legislative changes have brought the subject more to the fore.

Recent movements across society, including the Time’s Up and #MeToo campaigns, have helped bring important discussions into the public domain—emboldening the necessity of achieving gender equality in the workplace, too.

However, there is still a long way to go. Since the UK Government’s Equality Act came into force in 2010, minimal progress has been made towards achieving gender parity in the workplace. Women are generally far less likely to hold senior leadership positions within large organisations, and recent reports have revealed the alarming extent of the gender pay gap between men and women.

Despite the raised awareness around gender equality, there is still no sign of the situation radically changing anytime soon—and more action needs to be taken to redress the balance between men and women in the workplace.

Perhaps it is time to explore different ways to tackle gender inequality in the workplace? Could, for example, quotas be the answer? Would they be a quick-win solution? Or, alternatively, would other methods be more effective?

Thomson Reuters’ next Legal Debate of 2018 will consider this very issue. The debate, ‘Quotas are the only solution to gender equality in the workplace’, will bring together industry heavyweights from law and politics to debate how to bring an end to gender inequality in the workplace.

The panel includes Catherine Mayer, Author and Co-Founder of the Women’s Equality Party, and Dr Charlotte Proudman, Barrister at Goldsmith Chambers, who will both be arguing in favour of the debate’s motion that ‘Quotas are the only solution to gender equality in the workplace’. Meanwhile, Justin Webb, Journalist and Radio Presenter, and Vivienne Artz, President of Women in Banking and Finance and Chief Privacy Officer at Thomson Reuters, will be arguing against the motion.

Throughout, what is expected to be a lively and fiery debate, the debating panel will discuss gender equality in the workplace broadly—and lock horns over the concept of ‘quotas’; determining whether they are indeed the solution to inequality problems; or, if other methods would be more successful.

The Legal Debate will take place at 17.30 on 19 September, at The Mermaid, Puddle Dock, London, EC4V 3DB. To register for your free place at the event, click here.

Roundtable: Transforming Women’s Leadership in the Law (London) Roundtable: Transforming Women’s Leadership in the Law (Bristol) Roundtable: Transforming Women’s Leadership in the Law (Edinburgh) Conference: Transforming Women’s Leadership in the Law (past event)