You'll Effectively Be Working For Free For The Rest Of The Year Today, If You're A Woman

Today, women are effectively not being paid a penny for the next 50 days of the year. Someone hand out the party hats...

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What will you be doing today at work?

Splitting up the day with coffee breaks? Whatsapping friends about plans for this weekend? Pretending to listen to Radio 4 but actually watch that John Lewis advert on repeat?

Well, unfortunately you'll also be working for free for the rest of the year because of the gender pay gap.

Wow, 2016. Kick us while we're down why don't you...

Inspirational women and their quotes | ELLE UK
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Today, Thursday 10 November, is a day now commonly known as Equal Pay Day, which means that given the difference in average salaries earned by women and men in the UK, we will effectively stop getting paid until 2017.

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The average female employee in the UK earns 13.9 per cent less than her male counterparts for doing the same job (based on the mean average for full time employees) – a gender pay gap that will take almost 53 years to close at the current rate of progression, according to a recent report from financial consultancy firm, Deloitte.

Yes, that's 99 years after the implementation of the 1970 Equal Pay Act.

In effect, the pay gap means women receive 86.1 pence for every £1 a man earns. Based on the average full-time working week of 37.4 hours, this gender pay gap translates to mean women are effectively not being paid for one hour and 39 minutes of every day or for the next 50 days of the year, depending on which negative viewpoint you'd prefer to adopt.

Try looking at your male colleagues today in the same way…

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via GIPHY

Fortunately, the gender pay gap has reduced since the EPD last year which reached 14.5 per cent, but today is certainly not a time for celebration.

The average hourly pay of a full-time female worker is £12.82, compared to £14.16 for men, according to the Office for National Statistics' 2016 Survey of Hours and Earnings.

And breathe, breathe...

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Chief executive, Sam Smether, at The Fawcett Society, Britain's leading charity promoting gender equality and women's rights said: 'A root cause of the gender pay gap is that we don't value the work done by women.

'As we mark EPD this year, we are focusing on the fundamental question of who and what we value and asking why it is that we don't value women and the work they do – paid or unpaid,' he added.

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According to the charity, the careers women fall into are more likely to provide lower pay, meaning women are less likely to receive a bonus and have a smaller chance of reaching the top positions in their organisations.

Aaron Sorkin | ELLE UK
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Earlier this year, Prime Minister Theresa May promised to create a 'Britain that works for everyone'.

Er, Theresa. You might want to get on that sooner rather than later because I don't like to think I'm working for free for the rest of the year while Jamie in accounting is off to the Maldives at Christmas and is still getting paid more than me. Okay, hun?

In light of Equal Pay Day – oh, and the fact we didn't get to see the election of the first female US President – we have three options you can do to mark this momentous occasion:

  1. Stand on your desk and yell at the top of your lungs in anger at the world while waving your hands about like one of those inflatable cartoon characters outside a car dealership (Warning: you might get fired for this but it will look h-i-l-a-rious)
  2. Have a little cry under your desk but we don't think that'll help much
  3. Stay strong, keep working, continue highlighting the injustice of the gender pay gap and urge your local councils, MPs and Theresa May to work harder on making Britain a fairer and more equal society.

We think you know what we're going to do…

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