Since the Equal Pay Act was introduced 45 years ago, it has been an extremely lengthy process to remove the pay gap that exists between men and women. Somewhat surprisingly for some, there is still a long way to go. With this in mind, we have put together some facts about the changes in the gender pay gap that we hope you will find interesting.

Gender gap variations

There is still a substantial amount of progress that needs to be made in order to eliminate the gender gap altogether in the UK; however, the pay gap has been narrowingin recent years, decreasing from an average of 26% in 2000 to 18% in 2012. Currently, the gender pay gap in the UK stands at an average of 19.1% for full-time and part-time workers. So, despite an overall drop of 7% in the last 15 years, representing a step in the right direction, this figure is still higher than the European average of 16%.

One does need to mindful of other considerations that need to be taken into account when examining the gender pay gap. Interestingly, it varies across industries and job titles. Location plays a huge part in the gap too. The Fawcett Society demonstrated in a recent study that the gap varies across regions, with the City of London topping the charts at 33%.

According to a survey conducted by the Trades Union Congress, it was also found that there are significant gender pay differentials between the private and public sector, with the private sector much higher, with an average of 19.9%, compared to 13.6% in the public sector.

Pay progression

Keen to reduce the imbalance further, David Cameron has recently announced that a new process will be put in place in order to shed light on vast differences in gender pay. It will involve large companies (with 250 employees or over) being required to declare their average pay on a regular basis.

The process is designed to highlight the discrepancies in pay between men and women and encourage further change to decrease the pay gap. It is also hoped that the recently announced changes to the National Living Wage will also encourage a reduction in the gender pay gap.

There is, as you would expect, opposition to David Cameron’s new plans. Some argue that publishing organisations’ ‘gender pay gaps’ will only confuse things further, as it is a one-dimensional measure that fails to take into account other factors, such as education, previous experience, negotiating tactics and the fact that it is not solely based on an ‘average salary’.

Although reducing the gender pay gap has come a long way, there is still plenty of work still to be done to bring average men and women’s pay to parity. It is clear that companies are aware that the gender pay gap exists and some have ambitions to change it. Deloitte released a statement stating that 25% of their partners will be female by 2020. The big question will be, will those female partners be earning the same money as their male counterparts?

We hope you have found these observations helpful and we would like to hear from you about your experiences with gender pay gaps.

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