Reports on the gender pay gap confirm the thoughts of many – the discrepancies in pay between the sexes are due to childbirth and the assumed consequences it has within the workplace.
The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) found that hourly rates of pay for women are currently around 18% lower than men on average. Although this rate demonstrates the inequality between the sexes within the workplace, it does, however, show an improvement on 23% in 2003 and 28% in 1993.
Despite the narrowing of the pay gap in recent years, there are still major problems that exist.
According to reports, the gender pay gap widens after women have children – year and year after the birth of children the gap steadily grows to around 33% by the time the child is 12 years old.
The statistics calculated also demonstrate the pay inequality across the board. Men and women with similar qualifications and experiences still face unequal pay rates – regardless of whether the sector of work requires qualifications from higher education or not.
Reasons for pay discrepancies are largely due to reduction of hours given by employees after childbirth, which more often than not, results in a lack of professional progression.
This lack of progression may be due to part time workers not given a chance for formal training, missing networking opportunities – which may result in missed promotions and pay rises.
Researchers have also found that there were fewer women in executive positions than men. Women comprise 73% of the workforce in entry and junior level roles but female representation drops to 42% at senior management level and 32% at director level.
Mark Crail, content director at XpertHR,has stated: “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”.
The gulf between men and women’s pay was highlighted in Theresa May’s first speech after her appointment as Prime Minister. As it stands, May plans to “fight the burning injustice […] that if you are a woman you will earn less than a man”.