Accounting for Gender: A gender analysis of support for work in South Bank and Grangetown

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A gender analysis of the Job Connect employment service from Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council. Findings revealed a quality service, but one that met men's needs more than women's.
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    Accounting for Gender A Gender Analysis of Support for Work in South Bank and Grangetown    Fourth Action Romi Jones & Julia Lyford   March 2005   Fourth Action     Accounting for Gender: Support for work in South Bank and Grangetown Page 2 of 50 Executive Summary Many services are intended to be “gender-neutral” and not unduly benefit women or men. However, the needs that women and men require to be met by a service are not always the same. To investigate whether a gender-neutral service equally meets the different needs of women and men, South Bank Women’s Centre, Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council and Oxfam’s UK Poverty Programme undertook a Gender  Analysis of a Council service. Gender Analysis is one of a range of tools available to investigate policies and programmes from a gender perspective. A particular gender analysis model developed in Sweden was adapted for this piece of work. It asks a number of questions, gathered under the key headings of Resources (How are they allocated?), Representation (Who Makes the Decisions?) and Reality (Who benefits? What are their views?) with the answers analysed by gender. Job Connect, a service supporting people from South Bank and Grangetown into employment, was chosen as the focus for the Gender Analysis. These two areas appear high on the Government’s Indices of Multiple Deprivation. Two years of the service (2003-04 and 2004-05) were analysed. Fourth Action, a North East consultancy specialising in gender issues, was commissioned by the partners to carry out the Gender Analysis. The Gender Analysis confirmed that Job Connect was essential and regarded by beneficiaries as a high quality service. Once accessed most beneficiaries secured employment, training or financial support in preparation for employment. However, considerably more men than women benefited from Job Connect. Numbers of men:women (% of Total Number of clients) Success (% of men:women clients) 2002-03 2003-04 2002-03 2003-04  Access to Job Connect 72:28 72:28   Support into Employment 72:28 75:25 28:28 30:27 Support into Training 93:7 89:11 25:16 5:5 Financial Support 83:17 85:15 43:23 35:17 Men accessing the Job Connect service outnumbered women by nearly three to one. This was reflected in a similar ratio of clients being supported into employment. The ratios for clients supported into training or receiving financial support were skewed even further in men’s favour (roughly nine to one and eight to two respectively). The success rates for clients securing employment were much closer, reflecting the personal service provided by Job Connect. However, male clients were still more likely than female clients to access training or obtain financial support. This male bias was not the intention of Job Connect and the Council. It has been produced unwittingly by a number of factors. The primary factor is the location of the Job Connect Service within the Job Centre and the fact that men are more prone to use   Accounting for Gender: Support for work in South Bank and Grangetown Page 3 of 50 Job Centres to seek employment opportunities. Some interesting insights were gained when the reality of the Job Connect service experienced by local residents and clients was checked. They noted: ã Frustration with the statutory employment system (linking Job Connect with Jobcentre); ã Feeling looked down on by officials; ã Importance of local access to training and work; ã Difficulty with caring responsibilities; ã Low income can hamper achievement of aspirations and personal goals; ã Mental and physical health affect chances of working to full potential; ã Importance of high self esteem and self confidence; ã Traditional personal and institutional gender attitudes and stereotyping restrict options.  A number of recommendations are made for the Centre, Council and Oxfam and these are currently under consideration with a view to determining appropriate action. They include: ã Endorse the value of mainstreaming the Gender Analysis approach and recognise the need to consider “gender budgeting” as a more gender aware mechanism for allocating resources; ã Explore local delivery of services to improve access especially for women; ã Increase female clients to Routes to Employment by, for example, broadening referrals beyond the Jobcentre, and actively supporting opportunities and activities for women; ã Reduce sex discrimination and gender stereotyping through working with women and men, schools and young people; ã Encourage employers to promote gender equality by endorsing gender equality standards and positive discrimination for women in non-traditional gender roles. The Gender Analysis revealed that gender neutrality is actually “gender-blind” in that it unintentionally does not deliver gender equal benefits. A service must be gender aware and explicitly take account of women’s and men’s different needs if it intends to benefit them equitably.   Accounting for Gender: Support for work in South Bank and Grangetown Page 4 of 50 Contents  Executive Summary.........................................................................................................2   1.   Introduction...............................................................................................................6   1.1   Background..................................................................................................6   1.2    Aims and objectives of this project...............................................................6   1.2.1    Aims..................................................................................................6   1.2.2   Objectives.........................................................................................6   1.3   Partner profiles.............................................................................................6   1.3.1   South Bank Women’s Centre...........................................................7   1.3.2   Oxfam GB.........................................................................................8   1.3.3   Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council...........................................9   1.4   Methodology...............................................................................................11   2.   Gender Budget Analysis.........................................................................................13   2.1   Background................................................................................................13   2.2   What is gender budget analysis?...............................................................13   2.3   Some Gender Tools...................................................................................13   2.4   Gender Budgeting at the Local Level – A Way Forward.............................14   3.   The local context.....................................................................................................15   3.1   South Bank.................................................................................................15   3.2   Grangetown................................................................................................16   3.3   Local profile of South Bank and Grangetown.............................................16   3.3.1   Resident Population and Age.........................................................16   3.3.2   Status.............................................................................................16   3.3.3   Unemployment...............................................................................17   3.3.4   Employment....................................................................................18   3.3.4.1   Work opportunities and employee jobs............................18   3.3.4.2   Breakdown of economic activity by gender......................18   3.3.4.3   Gross weekly pay.............................................................19   3.3.4.4   Jobs density.....................................................................19   3.3.4.5   Nature of jobs available....................................................19   3.3.5   Caring responsibilities.....................................................................21   3.3.6   Mental / physical health..................................................................22   4.   Resources - Job Connect.......................................................................................24   4.1   Background................................................................................................24   4.2   Methodology...............................................................................................25   4.3   Quantitative data........................................................................................25   4.3.1   Clients seeking information, support and practical help from Job Connect......................................................................................................25   4.3.2   Job Connect providing support into employment............................26   4.3.2.1   Clients gaining employment through Job Connect...........26   4.3.2.2   Types of employment.......................................................27   4.3.3   Job Connect supporting clients into training...................................28   4.3.3.1   Clients accessing training through Job Connect..............28   4.3.3.2   Types of Training accessed.............................................29   4.3.3.3   Clients supported by short term work placements............29   4.3.4   Job Connect providing financial support to clients..........................30  
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