LONDON, March 13 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Fathers
working in the City of London, the capital's financial district,
were urged on Monday to take a gender bias test to see if they
are really helping to make workplaces welcoming for their
The initiative is part of a Dads4Daughters campaign launched
by the prestigious fee-paying all-girls school St Paul's which
made headlines last month for allowing its students to use boys'
names and wear boys' clothes.
The online test, that aims to reveal any unconscious bias
in men who might otherwise express support for equality at work,
was designed after a Girls' Schools Association survey found 71
percent of alumni experienced or saw gender inequality at work.
Clarissa Farr, headmistress at St Paul's school in west
London, said when men became fathers of daughters, many reported
that their perspective on gender equality dramatically changed.
"They also become acutely aware of the challenges of
achieving a work-life balance both for themselves and the women
around them," Farr said in a statement.
"We hope that with the help of fathers, women will enjoy
workplaces free from bias, pay inequality and glass ceilings."
Figures from the UK's Office of National Statistics show on
average women earned 18 percent less than men in 2016.
British women also expected lower wages and tended to push
less for pay rises, slowing progress to close the gender pay
gap, research showed last week.
The test was set up ahead of Dads4Daughters Day on March 15
that was launched last year by St Paul's and is being supported
by about 50 schools across Britain.
"You might express the view that women are just as capable
as men in the workplace, but subconsciously you might feel more
comfortable having a male boss," the website explained.
The campaign has received backing from majors financial
services firms such as insurer Aviva, bank UBS and accounting
firm Ernst & Young.
"I want my kids to grow up in a world where the limits to
what they achieve are not set down by what gender they are,"
said Will McDonald, chairman of the Fatherhood Institute and a
director at Aviva.
"But to see real change, we need to harness the power of
dads at work. After all, dads don't stop being dads when they
walk through the office door."
(Reporting by Anna Pujol-Mazzini @annapmzn, Editing by Belinda
Goldsmith; Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the
charitable arm of Thomson Reuters that covers humanitarian news,
women's rights, trafficking, property rights, climate change and
resilience. Visit news.trust.org)