Gender pay gap still at 18%

Peter Thomson's picture

A recent IFS report showed the gender pay gap in the UK reducing slowly but still stubbornly remaining at 18%, despite equal pay legislation and the impending requirement for pay audits.

Looking at the figures more closely reveals that the gap for highly educated women increases by 4% for each year taken out as a career break. Once women have taken time off for maternity it is very difficult to catch up with their male counterparts. As more men take parental leave this will help to close the gap but more can be done by leaders to level the playing field.

One solution is to have more flexible working at senior levels. Many women returners work part time and lose out on promotion. There is still a prevailing long-hours culture at board level which discriminates against people wanting a more even work-life balance. In the book we give some examples of senior women and men who have broken out of this mould and are better leaders and more balanced individuals as a result.

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