UK gender pay gap worsens

Labour Party

“Currently, there’s no country in the entire world where a woman earns as much as a man for doing the same job,” began the report from CNN. It was depressing to then go on to read the prediction from the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) latest survey which also stated that it will take another 81 years for the gender pay gap to close.

In the UK the wage gap sits at 66%, meaning it failed to come within the top 20 in all of the four categories the report measures- economy, education, health and politics. UK has actually fallen in the Global Gender Gap Report rankings, falling from 18th to 26th place, its lowest overall score since 2008.

Unsurprisingly countries from Northern Europe did well overall. The top four on the list Iceland, Finland, Norway and Sweden remained unchanged from the 2012 and 2013 reports. Some middle income and developing countries entered the list above the UK including, Nicaragua, Rwanda and the Philippines.

The WEF said the UK’s drop in its overall rating this year “was chiefly attributable to a significantly lower score in ‘economic participation’, which measures attributes such as the ratios of women in the workforce, wage equality for similar work done by men, and the number of women in senior roles.”

The WEF found that: “[In the economic participation subsets the UK] appears to remain some way off, with the country ranking 48th in terms of both labour force participation and wage equality and 66th for estimated earned income.

The report also added that the UK is some way off closing its educational attainment and health and survival gaps (ranking 32 and 94 respectively).
This is an alarming set of results and precisely why we need tough legislative action to close the gap, not just slowly allow it to narrow and more than likely peter off. Strong measures are needed because these statistics are unacceptable.