How Old Will YOU Be When The Gender Pay Gap Closes?
By Sophie Wilkinson Posted on 26 Oct 2018
Slogging away in the office in the knowledge that you’re destined to be paid less than your male colleagues simply by dint of your sex? Working hard but knowing that, if you wanted to reflect how little you get paid compared to a man you’d be out of the office from early November until the end of the year? You might be keen to try out our new, fun gender pay gap calculator!
Basically, you take the year you were born, and you subtract it from 2073, and that’s how old you’ll be when the gender pay gap closes! If you’re, say, 30, you’ll be 85 when the gender pay gap closes. Woohoo! Not long now, gals!
The year 2073 was cited in response to the apparently good news that the gender pay gap is smaller than ever. You see, the gap might be smaller than ever, down from 18.4% in 2017 to 17.9% now, but still, for every pound earned by a man, a woman will earn just 82.1p. And if the gap keeps closing at the this rate, well, it will be 2073 before it closes.
Frances O’Grady, general secretary of the TUC, told The Times: ‘Working women won’t be celebrating this negligible decrease in the gender pay gap,’
‘At this rate, another generation of women will spend their whole working lives waiting to be paid the same as men.’
New ONS statistics show, amongst other things, that the region where the gender pay gap has remained the same for the longest time is London, where women can expect 13.7% less earnings than men.
One reason why the pay gap exists is that women tend to do different jobs to men. It’s not that women can’t be aerospace engineers or coders or whatever men do, it’s just that, from a young age, we’re conditioned to want different things in life. Simply because we’re women! We also work part time more than men - part-time women earn less than full-time men and women. But they also earn more than part-time men, which is very interesting when you consider that there has been a cultural shift towards people - all people - working less.
As for age divisions within pay, though, the gap nears to zero for workers between ages 18 and 39. What’s dodgy, though, is that it then jumps up to 12.8% for full-time employees between 40 and 49. The long-known theory is that, as soon as women have children, they don’t get paid as much as their male colleagues. Perhaps it’s because they’re likely to go part time -the UK has the most expensive childcare in Europe- maybe it’s because they’re not welcomed back after taking time off for maternity leave. Perhaps the time taken to look after a young infant isn’t considered relevant to the world of work, even though, well, there are more than enough transferable skills to be gained.
The solution to the abysmal gender pay gap that still persists? The way of making sure the gap closes in our lifetimes? Well, there’s a lot of work to be done, but we could start with: more policies to encourage our biased minds to re-structure around the notion women can do the exact same jobs as men (this should start at school), better consideration of maternity leave returnees, more accessible childcare options for working mothers and perhaps a lot fewer rotten men happy to upset women out of the workplace…
The new stats come a week after the government announced it would consult as to whether all companies with over 250 employees should publish their race pay gap data. At present, all companies with over 250 employees are obliged to publish their gender pay gap data, in part thanks to Grazia’s #MindThePayGap campaign!
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