Published: Sat, November 11, 2017
Economy | By Shawn Conner

Drive for gender pay equality 'going backwards'

Drive for gender pay equality 'going backwards'

The gap is wider for women in their 50s, at 18.6 per cent, but has significantly grown among women in their twenties - from 1.1 per cent in 2011 to 5.5 per cent this year, said the society.

The UK ranks 20th out of 144 countries around the world for closing the gender pay gap, but no country on earth has absolute equality.

Global strategic advisor, Rita Trehan, explains:"Equal Pay Day means that effectively, women are working for free for the rest of the year - that's how big the pay gap remains between and women". However, overall, women still earn less than men and there is a definite gender pay gap in this country.

In a statement on their website, WEP say: 'Friday 10th November is Equal Pay Day, which marks the moment which women effectively stop being paid until the end of the year. We're asking women across the United Kingdom to set their Out of Offices on Friday 10th November as a sign to the world that they won't stand for this any longer'.

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The date has remained the same for the last three years, which the Fawcett Society says shows the lack of progress on tackling the gap, and that it will take another 100 years to gain equal pay at the current rate.

On the other hand, UK's leader of the Women's Equality Party Sophie Walker described the importance of equal pay and said that the gender pay gap usually triggers sexual harassment, including scandals in the entertainment industry as well as in politics. "During that time the gender pay gap has reduced, but it has not reduced enough".

The work shined a light on Morton's priorities of ending violence against women and redressing the gender pay gap by featuring a purse in the shape of a vagina and stating that women were being shortchanged in their pay versus men.

More broadly, The Fawcett Society suggest a "divided" labour market is partly to blame - citing evidence that women make up 80% of care and leisure workers, but only 8% of skilled trade jobs, which are more highly paid.

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Not even the official figures from the ONS are making like-for-like comparisons; job, education, background, and work experience are not controlled for in the pay gap figures.

What Can Be Done?

We also need to ask our employers what they are doing to measure and report their gender pay gaps, and what action plan they are putting in place.

Nicky Morgan, Conservative MP said "We've seen the best employers make ground breaking strides in tackling gender inequality". We also believe pay gap reporting should cover race and disability too. But the job won't be complete until we see the talents of women and men recognised equally in every workplace'. Evidence from the United States suggests that when you further account for such variables, the gender pay gap nearly completely disappears.

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