This year’s run up to International Women's Day sees the debate on women and work firmly back on the agenda. Public discussions around women's role in the workplace, and issues of career progression, leadership and work/life balance have recently been brought into sharp relief by Sheryl Sandberg’s call to women to 'Lean In’ at work and Anne-Marie Slaughter’s follow-up ‘Lean Out’ riposte.
Gender equality has been part of the RSA’s identity for over 260 years, with the Society admitting women as full members from its foundation. At various moments of its history it has pioneered advances in education, training and vocational qualifications to improve women's life chances and economic prospects. Today we ask: is it time for a more fundamental rethink of the women and work debate? Is it time to go beyond statistics and gender stereotypes to examine the deeper culture and values that shape our society, and the ways we live and work together?