Women in their mid-30s will never know equal pay in their working lives if progress towards tackling the gender gap is not accelerated, according to new analysis.
To mark Equal Pay Day, the day that women in effect stop being paid because of the gender pay gap in the UK, Labour has said 8.5 million women will go their entire careers without receiving equal pay.
It comes as research from the Fawcett Society reveals that 43% of working women, and 50% of black and minority ethnic working women – compared with 35% of white working men – are worried about their job and promotion prospects because of coronavirus, while one-third of working women have lost work or hours because of pandemic-related childcare issues.
The Savanta ComRes survey of 8,425 UK adults found that school and childcare closures during the pandemic had hit black and minority ethnic working mothers hard: 44% said they lost work or hours due to a lack of childcare, compared with 34% of working white mothers.
Sam Smethers, the chief executive of the Fawcett Society, said the UK was at a “coronavirus crossroads” on the path towards gender equality.
The Equality Trust said the government could only make equal pay a reality by giving women the right to know what a male colleague doing the same work was paid. In a report marking Equal Pay Day it said there had been “paltry progress on reducing the gender pay gap” over the three years of company reporting, and an increase of 179% on the average gender bonus gap of reporting companies.
“Women are still being undervalued, underpaid and to add insult to injury, there is little if any progress on the gender pay and bonus gaps,” said Dr Wanda Wyporska, the executive director of the trust.
She pointed to companies that reported high gender pay gaps this year, including easyJet (54.7%), HSBC Bank (55.1% and bonus gap: 68.5%), Yours Clothing (59% and bonus gap: 88%) and Rush Hair (69.2%) as examples of the work that still needed to be done.
Source: The Guardian