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15th March 2018

Gender gap must go

Women across the UK have been tackling this unjust situation for centuries, and once again we ask ourselves, how much longer can this go on for?

Picture a scenario where you have two chief executives. They both work for 70 hours a week, and work just as efficiently as each other. However, one of them is male. He earns £300 000. The other is female and earns as little as £150 000. This is slightly exaggerated, but is based on an actual worldwide problem, commonly known as the gender pay gap.

The gender pay gap is the difference between the money incomes of men and women. It is measured in the hourly earnings of both genders. However, the gender pay gap is not the same as equal pay. Instead of focusing on payment for the same jobs, the pay gap focuses on the jobs themselves, looking at the balance between men and women in higher and lower positions.

Unfortunately, it has been found that women across the UK have been earning less than their male counterparts. Apparently, three-quarters of companies are known to pay men more. It’s not just the smaller companies either. Recent statistics have shown that even larger companies are involved, with ITN recently revealing a gap of at least 18%. They also revealed that only 3 out of their top 20 earners were women. This is appalling.

So what are people doing about this? This year, all UK companies with 250+ workers are required to publish their gender pay gap by April 2018. This contrasts with last year, when private businesses and charities had to release their data by 31 March and firms had to share it by 5 April. As a result of this, the government was and will be able to keep track of companies, whilst also growing a better understanding of them. They will be able to identify the companies that are treating their workers equally and those who are discriminating. Women are also taking a stand for their rights. Some have even taken to social media to express their rage at the situation.

It’s not all negative though, as the gap is slowly decreasing for many companies. Since 1997, the average gap has fallen from a whopping 27.5%, to a more decent figure of 18.4% in 2017.

Overall, we believe that this has to change. The system is unjust and cannot continue for much longer. Men and women deserve equality and this will not be achieved through such a dividing method of pay.