We were delighted to welcome our Welsh friends from WAVE (Women Adding Value to theEconomy) last week to 54 St James Street. Christine Atkinson and her colleagues from the project came up to visit and tell us all about the project that has been developing research and making things happen for female entrepreneurship in Wales.
During their visit, we sat down and shared best practice and research findings from the field. They were inspired by the facility we have here at The Women's Organisation and likewise, we were by the tools and materials that they have developed as part of the project.
WAVE is a three partner, three year European Social Fund project created to address workplace and labour market practices, specifically the issue of gender earning disparities in employment and self-employment.
The three main partners of the WAVE programme are:
Cardiff University who developed tools and techniques based on research with employers to challenge gender based inequalities in organisations. This includes the development of an innovative equal pay analysis method which has been recognised in the Welsh Ministers Report on Equality.
The Women’s Workshop Project @ BAWSO Ltd who worked with women and employers on initiatives to maximise women’s potential to progress in work, with a focus on the IT and Construction sector.
The Women in Self Employment Resource (WISER) team at the University of South Wales, has up-skilled women who are in or aspiring towards self-employment and developed sustainable peer support in the form of women’s business networks and mentoring
Through a series of events, research and campaigning, the project has gathered some great research for the cause. One of these was their ‘National Conversation: Let’s Talk about Pay Campaign’ this was a national conversation started through a series of hashtags to raise awareness of gender pay disparities in Wales. Key findings from this were:
- Women typically undercharge for products and services at start up
- Women and Men are motivated by money when starting a business but women are less likely to say this.
- The average annual income for self employed women in the UK is £10k
- There are over twice as many self employed men than women in Wales
- If the same number of women as men set up a new business there would be 150,000 new businesses in the UK each year.
The message is clear: we need to encourage more women to set up and run businesses and we need to help them achieve their personal and business potential. The purpose of the WAVE Women in Self Employment Research has been to address this in the Welsh context and we are looking forward to seeing what happens in the future as the findings from the project continue to evolve.
To find out full details of the project and the work that has been done, visit their website. As as for what happens next, you will have to watch this space but we hope that exciting things are to come from this great partnership.