Gender pay gap widens after 10 years of progress

The gender pay divide is widening again after 10 years of narrowing, according to a report from the Women and Work Commission.

Figures for median earnings, which take into account full and part-time work, show that women are paid 22.6% less than men. The commission said that although this figure has fallen from 27.5% over the past 10 years, it has noticed that progress is stalling, and the number has even risen slightly since 2007 when it was 21.9%.

This is also the case for the full-time gender pay gap, which stood at 12.5% in 2007 but is now at 12.8%.

The report also said the government has failed to take enough action to review careers advice in schools as a means of preventing gender stereotyping, which subsequently impacts on pay gaps in the workplace.

Baroness Prosser of Battersea, chair of the Women and Work Commission, said more action needed to be taken to kick start the slow movement of the gender pay gap and that women are at risk of being less financially resilient to periods of unemployment because of their lower earnings and often lower savings.

Commenting on the Women and Work Commission’s (WWC) report, Katja Hall, director of HR policy at the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), said: “The WWC’s report and recommendations are welcome. The CBI has been saying for some time that a key reason for women earning less than men are their academic choices and careers advice at school.”