Sorry gals. The gender pay gap still exists in the UK
Here’s where it’s worst
If like me, you’re absolutely buzzing for 2069, when the gender pay gap will finally close and most of us will either be retired or long dead, it’s not great news today. In the UK at least, a new report shows men are still paid much more than women across many industries, despite “tinkering around the edges” to try to close the gap.
In some respects it’s not looking that bad. Where men and women are doing the same job they’re usually paid the same – although men still have a slight advantage and earn 1.6 per cent more. The reality of the gender pay gap only emerges at the top and best-paid levels of huge industries like oil, gas, technology and life sciences.
The gender pay gap also varied across the country. The biggest disparity was in the east Midlands (34 per cent), followed by the south-east (30 per cent), north east (28 per cent) and West Midlands (26 per cent).
Thinks aren’t looking good in London either. Last Friday Sadiq Khan pushed for an action plan after it was revealed men in the Metropolitan police are paid 11.6 per cent more than woman. In Transport for London the pay gap stood at 19.2 per cent.
What these new figures mean is that effectively women in the UK have been working for free since the 10th of November. On average women stop earning 51 days before the end of the year, relative to men.
Ben Frost, a pay data specialist at Korn Ferry Hay, the business advice group which led the study, said: “This shows that organisations still aren’t dealing with the real issue here – which is that we need more women working in higher paying jobs and industries and at the most senior levels,” he said. “At the moment firms are tinkering around the edges by offering benefits like flexible working to address the issue. More fundamental change needs to happen.”
Women in the UK have in effect been working for free since 10 November, which the Fawcett Society calculated to be Equal Pay Day for 2016. On average, women effectively stopped earning 51 days before the end of the year, relative to men.
Despite the earlier projection for the pay gap to close being set at 2069, campaigners now say at the current rate of progress the gap will take 60 years to close (leaving us earning less until 2076).