A 50/50 gender equal future
"We'll be living 50/50 lives, we'll be sharing the responsibility, we'll be part-time care givers and part-time entrepreneurial breadwinners."
James Wallman, The Future of Gender Equality Report
A Gender Equal 50/50 Future
Female representation in areas like business, politics and the media is increasing but there's more to come.
This is being led by initiatives such as the 50/50 Pledge1, which wants to make sure there are not only the opportunities for women to speak at conferences, but enough female experts ready to stand on stage. A 50/50 future is also the aim of the 5050 Tech Challenge from Martha Lane Fox's DotEveryone organisation2. Its aim is to redress the current gender imbalance in the tech industry by championing female-led start-ups.
At home things will change too. Since most of our devices will be connected via the Internet of Things, we will know exactly who has done their share of the housework. In that world, with digitised, real-time knowledge of who's done what and how much, it'll be much easier to reach a fairer, 50/50 split of the household chores.
As men's and women's expectations of their rights and responsibilities shift, we will shift towards what you might call "50/50 lives". To begin with, the pressure to survive will be removed as basic income is introduced, and work will become something we choose. The gig economy – i.e. working on short-term gigs rather than permanent employment - will allow us to fit work around other aspects of our lives.
"Being able to work via companies like Uber or Airbnb or as a freelance writer, you can work in different, more flexible ways," says Gary Barker, the founder of a UN-backed global initiative on equality called MenCare. "Instead of stay-at-home Moms or stay-at-home Dads, people will be part-time caregivers and part-time breadwinners."
A truly 50/50 future.
2 Strictly speaking the 5050 Tech Challenge's aim is to increase the number of women in the UK's tech sector — though it promotes a specific agenda: "Ten years to fix the gender gap in tech". For more, visit www.doteveryone.org.uk