The gender pay gap has resurfaced in the news over the last few weeks after the BBC revealed how much their stars earn, with the highest-paid list comprising almost entirely of men. It’s caused an immense amount of controversy with many people focusing their outrage on how little women earn on the whole compared to the opposite sex, and now a new survey has revealed how prevalent this divide is across other industries as well.

The Young Women’s Trust has revealed that one in ten employers openly admit to paying women less than men, even if they’re both doing a job of the same level. It’s probable that the reality is far bigger than 10%, but this isn’t something most employers would freely admit to, especially with the level of debate surrounding this topic right now.

At the rate that the gender pay gap is currently narrowing, it will take half a century for women and men to be consistently paid equally, by which point the people who are most affected by it right now will likely have retired. 44% of employers doubt that there will ever be full equality when it comes to how men and women are paid, with more than half of the women asked certain that this will be the case.

Furthermore, they don’t believe that exposing payment figures will have a major impact. While these figures do provide a startling revelation about the state of equality in the workplace, they’re useless unless they prompt the government to make a huge change.

Chief executive of the Young Women’s Trust Dr Carole Easton OBE outlined this in a statement saying:

‘We need urgent action to close the gap. Gender pay gap reporting is a great step forward but does not go far enough to close the gap. The new legislation will only be effective if the government puts in place and enforces penalties for firms that fail to report their pay gaps accurately. Where pay gaps do exist, like at the BBC, Young Women’s Trust would like to see that companies are obliged to put in place plans to reduce them.”

The new legislation that Dr Easton was referring to is one that will officially be put in place April 2018 and declares that organisations have to publish their gender pay gaps.

Another remarkable discovery made by the Young Women’s Trust research is that young female apprentices face a bigger pay gap than the average, earning 21% less than men. That’s as much as £2,000 less every year.

A lot of young people turn to internships and apprenticeships when they first enter the world of work because it’s becoming increasingly difficult for them to find employment when they have no prior experience. This exposure to inequality during the infancy stage of their working life will not give these young women the motivation they’ll need to get through the next fifty odd years as a person of employment.

“Pay transparency alone will not change the gender stereotypes that often determine the types of roles men and women take and the industries they work in,” Dr Easton added. “We need action to support young women into male-dominated areas if we are to achieve equal pay.”

Whether anything will come from these new statistics is currently unknown, but women everywhere will be facing an uphill battle for equality for the foreseeable future.

James Darvill

James is a passionate scriptwriter and reluctant poet with a talent for the dystopian. When he’s not staying up late watching the Simpsons he’s beating the world at Mario Kart, always with a glass of wine in hand.
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