The BBC has reported the news that the gender pay gap is not only far from a thing of the past, but also expected to carry on for a good few years yet. In fact, experts predict it will be a staggering 98 years before women are paid the same amount as men for doing the same job.
The current gap in earnings is placed at just over £10,000 with women earning around £30,000 for doing the same job for which a man earns around £40,000. Surprisingly the figures show an increase in the pay gap from 2010 to 2011. The data was compiled by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) and relates specifically to earnings in the management field. Interestingly, the widest pay gap in the UK is in Northern Ireland where the gap between male and female managers' wages is well over £13,000. Given the figures, it is perhaps not surprising that the research shows that more female than male managers are resigning from their jobs.
Women can take heart from the fact that over this same year their salaries have risen by 2.8% while men's salaries had experienced a rise of only 2.3%. And the future is looking brighter -- CMI report that female junior managers now earn more than their male counterparts.
For women in Wales the picture is also less bleak -- Welsh women enjoy wages only £2,000 less than that of male employees. Nevertheless, 98 years is a long time to wait for equal pay and on the back of these calculations CMI have demanded that the Government take action to level the playing field.
The Equality Act does of course seek to ensure that men and women receive the same pay for the same or similar work. However, a lack of transparency, particularly in the private sector, means that often the issue goes unchallenged. At one point it was proposed that private companies would be required to publish equal pay statistics but this has been shelved for the time being.
It is hoped that reports such as these will continue to highlight and raise awareness of this issue which may, ultimately, assist in driving down the gap.