The gender pay gap needs to be closed

The stubborn problem of the gap between women and men's pay is back in the headlines...

Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

An inquiry by the Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Select Committee has just reported its findings into the gender pay gap, urging business and government not to lose momentum on pushing change through.

You might be surprised to know that the average full time hourly pay gap still stands at 17% for full-time work. According to Eurostat, Britain’s gender pay gap is the worst out of all 27 European Union countries. The Office of National Statistics says it is most marked at senior management level, where women earn 27% less than men. And a recent study by the Institute of Directors shows the divide goes all the way to the board - the pay gap between male and female directors actually widening over the past year from 19% to 22%.

The gender pay gap can no longer be blamed on overt sex discrimination, although shamefully, this does still go on in some pockets of the private sector. Instead, it’s a complicated tangle of the type and level of work women do, unconscious bias within the workplace, and the tug of war between work and family life. It’s also partly to do with the fact that women don’t ask for as many pay rises as men. A recent study by Carnegie Mellon University demonstrated an early gender difference in attitudes when it comes to accepting job offers, with 57% of men thinking to negotiate their pay offer upwards, compared to only 7% of women.

MT will be tackling the subject in depth in its March issue. In the meantime, listen to what we had to say on the matter here:



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