There were 20.8m women in the UK aged between 16 and 64 in 2020 - representing 50% of the population at that time.

Amongst women of this age group, 72% were in work, 25% were classed as ‘inactive’ and 3% were unemployed (compared with figures of 79%, 17% and 4% respectively for working age males).

Gender and economic activity of the working aged population (2020)

Chart showing gender and economic activity of the working aged population (2020)

Source: Analysis of ONS Quarterly Labour Force Survey by BCS
* includes a small number of individuals in work but not as employees / self-employed (i.e., <1% of the total)

Overall, the level of female representation within the workforce was slightly lower than would be expected (i.e., accounting for 48% of those in work compared with 50% of the population) and this was also the case when considering representation amongst the unemployed at that time - women in this case accounting for 45% of the total. By contrast in 2020, women were seen to account for a higher proportion of the inactive population (60%).