Proof, If You Actually Still Need it, That the Gender Pay Gap Is a Very Real Thing

After looking at the earnings of 500,000 UK workers, it was found that men are still paid vastly more than women across many jobs and regions.

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28 November 2016, 6:00pm

Former chief cashier of the Bank of England, Graham Kentfield, holding the then-new £50 note in 1994. (Photo: John Giles PA Archive / PA Images)

Businesses would like to think they're making decent efforts to close the old gender pay gap. Yet, every time a study is commissioned, it shows women are still miles behind in their earnings. Recent estimates were that the gap will close – but not until 2069. So if you're a woman of reading age currently reading this, chances you'll either be retired or dead by then. Better luck next time!

A massive new study released today has shown similarly bleak results. After looking at the earnings of 500,000 UK workers, it was found that men are still paid vastly more than women across many jobs and regions. If you're lucky enough to be a woman in the east Midlands, you'd be earning 34 percent less than a man. The regions with the next largest gaps were the south-east, at 30 percent; the north-east, at 28 percent; and the West Midlands, at 26 percent.

What does this actually mean? Well, where men and women are doing the same job, men still have a slight advantage over women to start with – earning an average of 1.6 percent more. This isn't hugely significant, but it shows there's still discrimination happening in workplaces. The real gap, however, is caused by the scarcity of women at the highest and best-paid levels of industries.

On Friday, London mayor Sadiq Khan challenged all Greater London Authority bodies to publish action plans to tackle the gender pay gap. He released figures showing a gender pay gap of 11.6 percent in the Metropolitan police, 19.2 percent in Transport for London and 35 percent in the post-Olympics London Legacy Development Corporation. Khan made closing the pay gap in London one of his main campaign pledges, so we'll wait to see what happens there.

Of course, none of this is particularly new news: after all, thanks to the pay gap and compared to men, the average UK woman has been working for free since the 10th of November, and won't start earning again until January. If this pisses you off, pressure your employer to publish an equal pay audit and make them respond to the inequality they'll no doubt find.

More on equal pay:

When Will We Get Equal Pay?

Calling Bullshit On the Men Who Think That the Pay Gap Is a Myth

Should Women Be Paid the Same as Men In Tennis?