In recent years, the gap between average female wages and men’s wages have decreased, however, for various reasons, men’s pay is still higher than women.
Reasons for Gender Pay Gap
- Career breaks to have children (Studies have shown that women without children have a much smaller pay gap than women who take time off work to have children (and lose chance to get promotion)
- Different choice of profession. – Women more likely to choose ‘caring’ professions which are lower paid.
- The role of discrimination is hard to quantify, but, generous maternity pay has arguably created a disincentive to hire women.
- Women more likely to do part time jobs. In 2010, some 88% of men work full-time, but only 58% of women worked full-time. Part-time work tends to be lower paid and have fewer opportunities for job promotion.
Graph showing decline in Gender Pay Gap
Source: National Statistics 2007 link
In 2010, the gender pay gap narrowed from 12.2% to 10.2%, the biggest drop since the measure began in 1997. (BBC Link)
Reasons for Decline in Gender Pay Gap
- Changing social aspirations – more women taking on traditional male roles
- Declining birth rate (more women remaining childless, fewer career breaks)
- A decline in discrimination.
- Increased educational standards of women
However, others dispute the extent to which there has been a decline in the gender pay gap. For example, according to research by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI), the gap between how much male and female managers are paid has widened by £500 to £10,546 in the past year, a study suggests. The gap was biggest in the IT industry and smallest in the human resource industry.Female managers are now paid an average £31,895 per year, compared with £42,441 for men doing the same job. (BBC link)
However, for junior managers, women get paid more than men.