Uncertain Futures: economic inactivity and inequalities

Join us for our March GM Policy Hub seminar, which will focus on economic inequalities in work, and how this impacts retirement.

Economic inactivity in over 50s is currently a key policy concern. However, many older women find it difficult to access and remain in the labour market due to a variety of inequalities and face, as a result, pension inequalities and pension poverty. Older women also provide extensive contributions to society through caring, voluntary work and community activism. 

The gender pension gap currently sits between 35-40%, rising to 51% when factoring in ethnicity. This has significant implications for the physical health, mental health, and financial wellbeing of older women.

The Uncertain Futures research project has found that younger women are set to face similar deprivation later in life. The current gender pay gap of 18% will reduce the pension wealth of younger women by a staggering 28%. These statistics indicate the combined effects of intersectional discrimination throughout women’s working lives and its profound effect on the quality of retirement.

What is causing the intergenerational stagnation of women’s experiences of retirement? How do we ensure young women do not face similar deprivation in later life? And what steps can policymakers take to reduce gender-based pension inequalities?


When: Wednesday 20 March, 2024, 1:00-2:30pm (with registration and light lunch from 12:30pm)

Where: The University of Manchester, Oxford Road (room to be shared on registration)


  • Dr Elaine Dewhurst, Senior Lecturer in Employment Law
  • Jan Iceton, Chair of Smart Works Greater Manchester
  • Victoria Cronquist, Head of Smart Works Greater Manchester


  • Professor Maria Sharmina, Academic Co-Director of Policy@Manchester and Professor in Energy and Sustainability at Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research.

: To register for this session, please email policy@manchester.ac.uk with your name, job title, and any access or dietary requirements.