10 November marked a significant day in the world of Business. Representing “Equal Pay Day”, 10 November marks the day when women are essentially not being paid for the remaining 51 days of the year as a result of the inferior wages they receive compared to their male counterparts. Currently the gender pay gap for full time workers is 14.1 per cent, meaning that for every £1 that a man earns, a women earns just 86 pence.
However, the gender pay gap varies depending on different age groups, location and industry. This means that some women are in fact much worse off than others. So who’s in the best and worst position?
In terms of location, women working full time in London fall victim to the largest gender pay gap in the country. The gender pay gap for the capital stands at a miserable 20.7 per cent, meaning that women earn a fifth less than men do. Conversely, women in Wales witness a pay gap of just 8.3 per cent, making it the best place to live in terms of equal pay. However, this reveals how the problem of equal pay does not just involve gender.
Age can also be a significant factor on how men’s pay compares to women’s pay. Women in their fifties are the age group with the biggest pay gap, standing at a staggering 18.6 per cent. However, the gap is now growing among younger groups as well. Women in their twenties now face a 5.5 per cent pay gap whereas they were subject to just a 1.1 per cent pay gap in 2011. Perhaps this shows a digression in the movement for equality for women in the workplace.
This is confirmed by how the UK has declined on the global stage in terms of its gender equality. Although it was once the ninth most gender-equal country in 2006, it is now twentieth in the 2017 rankings with the sixth worst pay gap in the EU. This is most apparent in our treatment of different ethnicities. Black African women face a high pay gap of 24 per cent while Pakistani and Bangladeshi women witness a pay gap of 26.2 per cent. What this seems to reveal is that race is a much larger factor in terms of how pay is allocated, for women at least, compared to location or age.
In addition, the FTSE 100 only h a d six female chief executive officers during the fiscal year 2016. Therefore it seems that the UK needs to catch up with the rest of Europe if it is to attract professional women.
However, less orthodox areas of business seem to be leading by example. A total of 83 per cent of sports now reward men and women equal prize money and even though mainstream sports such as football, golf and cricket are the worst offenders, female role models are beginning to receive more respect.
Northern Ireland is currently leading the way to a more equal UK. In 2015, typical female full-time hourly earnings, excluding overtime, amounted to 101 per cent of male earnings compared to a ratio of 91 per cent for the UK as a whole. Therefore there is hope that equal pay will soon become more uniform across the UK.