The Fawcett Society has claimed that the gap in earnings between the nation’s men and women will not be entirely abolished for a century at its current rate of decline, reports Shola Patterson
The Fawcett Society website claims that if the long-term average decline in the wage gap were to persist, the pay gap between the sexes would close entirely in a brisk 62 years. They add, however, that the narrowing of this disparity has all but paused over the last five years, and if that trend persists it is more likely that the erasure of the wage gap will not occur until the year 2117.
Speaking in October, the Prime Minister claimed that “Tackling injustices like the gender pay gap is part of building a country that works for everyone”, and added “we need to see a real step-change in the number of companies publishing their gender pay data”.
The Prime Minister’s words have been deemed insufficient by some, with the Fawcett Society calling for increased investment into free childcare, the introduction of expanded parental leave for fathers and substantial penalties for noncompliance with equal pay regulations by employers.
Not everyone agrees with the equal pay campaign, however. Kate Andrews, News Editor at the Institute for Economic Affairs, has derided the existence of the gender pay gap as ” fundamentally misleading”, and claimed that the statistics surrounding it were “manipulated”. Andrews and the IEA have both claimed that in controlled comparisons in like-for-like roles, the pay gap evaporates entirely. Writing in the IBT, she went so far as to suggest that women aged 22-39 earn more than their male colleagues.
Government and major corporations appear to reject the assertions of the IEA, however, and have been near-unanimous in voicing their support for the work of the Fawcett Society and in reasserting their commitment to closing the gender pay gap.