Are we achieving gender equality? Can we do more?

by Emma Jeanes

Gender equality is firmly back on the public agenda. Unless you’ve switched off the television and radio, disconnected from social media and abandoned the printed press you can’t fail to notice that gender equality and related topics of sexual harassment, that disproportionately affects women, are regular topics of conversation. Social media has played a crucial role in spreading the word, with many campaigns such as #MeToo and #HeForShe drawing attention to gender inequality, and coalescing support to tackle it. This is all fantastic news and a step in the right direction. What is also heartening is the role men are playing in this as women cannot address gender inequality on their own. Continue reading

Balance for Better: improving outcomes in research and innovation

by Jennifer Rubin

BalanceforBetter is the theme of this year’s International Women’s Day and helpfully articulates the need to pursue balance if we want to improve diversity and inclusiveness in the environments in which we live and work. In our research and innovation environment there are several ways we can improve balance and improve outcomes. Continue reading

Are modern social issues old news? Single parents, the ageing population and the Victorian family

by Kevin Schürer

The modern family has its struggles. Single-parent families are often at the forefront of Government debates about welfare and employment. The elderly population is growing, and more and more people live alone in their later years. People marry later and have children later – who in turn are leaving home later and later.

At first glance, our complicated modern family structure might seem to be just that – modern. However, a look at the data shows that family has never been simple. Continue reading

How to live to 100 and tell people about it!

by Teresa McGowan

We are all living longer; since 1850, we’ve gained around 2.5 years of life expectancy per decade and it’s estimated that one in three children born today will live to be 100 years old. In Europe there is one retiree for every four people of working age, by 2060 this is expected to rise to one in two.

In our exhibition, ‘How to get to 100 – and enjoy it’, we ask people to explore how our early years, lifestyle, work and where we live can affect our lifespan. Continue reading

Helping parents and children to get ready for school

by Helen Victoria Smith

Making sure children have the right opportunities for learning and development in their earliest years so they can be ‘school-ready’ has been a key part of successive UK governments’ approaches to raising educational achievement and promoting economic progress. But concerns around large numbers of children arriving at school without the skills they need to succeed have been steadily growing.

Based on a study in a small town in the East Midlands, my research revealed how mothers of children under five and early years’ professionals understood the concept of ‘school readiness’ and how this shaped what they did. Continue reading