This years’s Equal Pay Day, which highlights the difference between women’s and men’s salaries is the 10th of November and from this day the UK’s female workforce will effectively be working for free until 31 December, due to the scale of the gender pay gap.
Read more about #EqualValue Equal Pay Day campaign.
As Jane Austen (almost) said: “It is a truth universally acknowledged that men (generally) get paid more than women“. Women’s pay remains almost 10% lower than men’s in Britain.
According to some figures published by the Office for National Statistics the gender pay gap has fallen but remains steady in recent years. Average pay for full-time female employees is still 9.4% lower than for full-time male employees (this gap is down from 17.4% in 1997).
Women continue to be penalized with lower pay and fewer promotions when they return to work after taking time away to care for children and because they tend to work in jobs with lower salaries, such as caring and administration. There is also a penalty for working part-time where pay, on average, is less per hour than in full-time work. And a far higher proportion of women work part-time – 41%, compared with only 12% of men.
Compared with other countries’ records on gender equality, the the global rankings in UK has slipped down. It was the ninth most gender-equal country in 2006 but by this year had slipped to 20th place, according to tables compiled by the World Economic Forum.
According to an analysis by consultants Deloitte “Equal pay will finally be achieved 99 years after the 1970 Equal Pay Act was enacted“.
According to Guardian, Ministers have made some encouraging noises and even some meaningful changes: flexible parental leave and the national living wage, of which two-thirds of recipients are women, increasing the amount of free childcare on offer to working parents and from 2018 companies with more than 250 employees will have to publish their gender pay gap. There are also moves to get more women on boards.
Prime minister Theresa May called for gender equality in her first statement pledging for Britain that works for everyone“that means fighting against the burning injustice that…if you’re woman you will earn less than a man”.