Why Should We Support Women Today
Women and Work
After over 35 years since the introduction of the Equal Pay Act (1970) ensuring equality in pay and conditions, women are still significantly earning less then their male peers. With the overall gender pay gap still standing at approx 20 per cent and only 33% of managers and senior official positions held by women according to government findings and the Women and Work Commission, they estimated that increasing women's participation in the labour market and in higher grade roles could be worth £15 billion and £23 billion a year to the UK economy.
Government findings are as follows with the text taken from: http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/equalities/women/women-work/;
"Women represent almost half of the UK workforce and increasingly hold influential positions.
However, evidence from a range of studies suggest our labour market is still failing to make the best use of people’s talents. In particular, pay levels for women, while improving, still do not reflect their qualification levels.
Gender pay gap
The Office for National Statistics collects data on earnings through the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings which it uses to calculate gender pay differences. There are a number of different ways of calculating the gender pay gap.
The pay gap between full-time men’s and women’s median earnings stands at 10.5 per cent, whereas the overall gap when comparing the pay of all men and women in work is 20.2 per cent.
We have conducted research into the causes of the gender pay gap. This found the key factors explaining the pay gap were as follows:
22 per cent of the gap is due to the different industries and occupations in which women work
21 per cent of the gap is due to differences in years of full-time work
16 per cent of the gap is due to the negative effect on wages of having previously worked part-time or of having taken time out of the labour market to look after family
only 5 per cent of the gap is due to formal education levels
But a significant proportion (36 per cent) of the pay gap could not be explained by any of these factors, suggesting discrimination may still be an important factor
The Office for National Statistics also publish statistics on gender pay gaps in the Civil Service, through the 'Civil Service Statistics' publications. In March 2011 the difference between the median pay of men and women was:
18.4% in the Government Equalities Office
13.2% in the Home Office
15.6% in the Civil Service as a whole"
Above text taken from: http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/equalities/women/women-work/
In short, we still have a very real inequality of pay and promotion for women in the workplace and we should be trying to help tackle it, after all it affects us all and in the current climate it is good for the economy too.
Further reading: Modern Workplaces Government Response Consultation on: Equal Pay June 2012 :