UK gender pay gap falls by 0.4% over past year

UK gender pay gap The mean gender pay gap has fallen by 0.4% in the past year, from 12.2% in 2022/23 to 11.8% in 2023/24, according to research by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC).

The professional services firm found that among UK employers that disclose their hourly gender pay gaps, the median hourly pay gap has decreased from 9.2% in 2022/23 to 9.1% in 2023/24. Since 2017, the mean gender pay gap has fallen by 1.6% from 13.4%.

Its analysis highlighted that of those who disclosed their pay gaps for both 2023/24 and 2022/23, almost 60% reported that their gap had fallen compared to the previous year, but the majority of the reductions were less than 2%. This is a slight increase in comparison to 2022/23, where 53.7% saw decreases to their mean gaps.

Overall, 20.1% reported no change or an increase between 0% and 2% to their pay gap, compared with 17.6% in 2022/23. The findings suggested that it will take over 45 years to close the UK gender pay gap.

The financial services sector reported the biggest gender pay gaps, as well as the largest decreases compared to the previous year, along with the travel and technology sectors. The public administration, health, hospitality and leisure sectors had the lowest mean hourly pay gaps.

Large organisations with more than 20,000 employees had the lowest mean hourly pay gaps each year. In 2023/24, the mean pay gap decreased for organisations of all sizes excluding the largest, which increased by 0.1%.

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Katy Bennett, diversity, inclusion and equity consulting director at PWC, said: “Societal barriers play a strong part but there are still things businesses can do to drive change, so it is critical for organisations to truly understand gender pay gap drivers and take targeted actions to address them. Many organisations are increasing their focus on pay fairness and transparency, as well as pay gap and diversity reporting, including beyond gender.

“By truly understanding any barriers that exist within the workforce and embracing pay transparency, organisations can navigate the reporting landscape and use it as a way to shape their narrative, as opposed to letting it dictate it.”