by Patrick Sturgis
Next week the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) convenes in Austin Texas for its annual jamboree, showcasing new science for an audience comprising policymakers, journalists, and scientists. AAAS is the largest multi-disciplinary scientific meeting in the world, with this year’s programme covering topics as diverse as gene editing, space exploration, driverless cars, neuroscience, and quantum computing.
Elizabeth Webb is a lecturer in gerontology at the University of Southampton, a member of the ESRC’s International Centre for Lifecourse Studies and principal investigator of an ESRC grant to investigate causes and consequences of caregiving in later life. She has an interest in older people’s physical capability and use of transport.
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is consulting on new draft guidelines on environmental changes which should be made to support people to be physically active. The consultation caught my eye, since it directly relates to some ESRC funded research I recently published with colleagues.
The draft NICE guidelines state that local authorities should ensure pedestrian crossings give people with limited mobility enough time to cross the road. This is a laudable aim, however I want to emphasise that the current guidelines for crossing speeds don’t just disadvantage people who would be thought of as having limited mobility, but a large majority of the UK’s older population.
Helen Kowalewska is an ESRC (1+3) PhD student at the University of Southampton.
Here, she discusses her forthcoming publication in the Journal of European Social Policy (JESP). She argues that although many women with caring responsibilities want to work full-time, policies across industrialised countries are still channelling many into more poorly paid and part-time ‘mummy track’ careers.
Helen was awarded the 2016 JESP/ESPAnet Doctoral Researcher Prize for her paper.
Women earn 33 per cent less than men on average by the time their first child is 12 years old, according to a recent report on the UK. This is mainly because women are more likely than men to take career breaks for children and return as mothers to work in more poorly paid ‘flexible’ and part-time ‘mummy track’ careers that are often well below their skill level. This ‘motherhood penalty’ affects women in other industrialised countries too. Continue reading