The Institute for Fiscal Studies found an average wage gap of 18% between males and females in the UK. This gap apparently widens when women have children, which raises the debate of whether a mother is more likely to miss out on a pay rise or a promotion when compared to her male counterpart.
Prime Minister Theresa May has vowed to “create a Britain that works for everyone and work to bridge the gender pay gap.
There has been some improvement on wage equality over the years with a decrease from the 28% gap present in 1993.
The widening of the pay gap after childbirth is generally down to reduced working hours which leads to less chance of career progression to higher paid roles.
New government rules are coming next April that will force larger companies to publish their pay gap. This rule should provide the transparency needed to prove or disprove the gender pay gap. The threat of this level of corporate transparency should provide companies with the much needed push to close the gap.
A spokesperson from the government stated that, “The gender pay gap is the lowest on record but we know we need to make more progress and faster. That’s why we are pushing ahead with plans to force businesses to publish their gender pay and gender bonus gap.”
A recent report from the Chartered Management Institute found that 14% of men were promoted in the past year and only 10% of women. The research cites the difference in promotion rates and the main cause of the gender pay gap.
Content director at XpertHR, Mark Crail, claimed: “The gender pay gap is not primarily about men and women being paid differently for doing the same job. It’s much more about men being present in greater numbers than women the higher up the organisation you go.”
Following the release of the report the hashtag #GenderPayGap was trending on Twitter and received a negative Adorescore of -24. The main high intensity emotions evoked being loathing, rage and grief. These negative emotions are coming from both sides of the coin. People are expressing loathing and rage by claiming the gender pay gap doesn’t exist and are blaming radical feminists. On the other side people who acknowledge the pay gap are angry and sad about the level inequality that still remains in the workplace.
The hashtag instigated a heated debate online with some claiming the pay gap was a myth, some calling for equality and some being more controversial.
So women are earning less during their lifetime because they are working less hours during their lifetime. Bit of a shock.
— Gary Walker (@Gary_R_Walker) August 23, 2016
— The Global Goals (@TheGlobalGoals) August 23, 2016
Not sure what is more infuriating, the news about the #genderpaygap or the denial that it even exists.
— Beth Bate (@beth_bate) August 23, 2016
So whether the pay gap exists or not it is a topic that has got everyone talking. It’s not a case of men getting paid more than women it’s a case of equal pay for equal work.