The Office for National Statistics has announced that the wage gap between men and women based on average hourly earnings for full-time workers has increased from 9.5% in 2012 to 10% in 2013. The TUC trade union groups analysis of the data showed the gender pay gap to be 15.7%.
The figures are depressing but in terms of awareness raising, fantastic progress has been made recently. Think, Act, Report, a Government initiative that aims to create a fairer workforce by encouraging companies to think about gender equality, has made great strides in tackling the gender pay gap. ELLEs Make Them Pay campaign has also helped people confront the issue by urging them to ask their male counterparts what their salary is.
This 15.7% gap costs women a lot of money. That the pay gap even exists is hugely unfair. But the fact that it has widened in the last year is an issue that reaffirms the importance and indispensability of initiatives like Think, Act, Report. The campaign urges participating companies to identify issues of gender inequality and to take action to fix them. Jo Swinson MP, Minister for Women and Equalities, described the success of the initiative: This is about making sure businesses can do what works for them to tackle gender inequality in the workplace so that the next generation of women can reach their full potential.
Loads of influential companies have signed up, and we want every man and woman to encourage their employers to follow suit to ensure that the pay gap only gets smaller.