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More Action Needed to Close Gender Pay Gap

New research has revealed that the gender pay gap that currently exists in the UK will not close until the year 2069 unless more action is taken now to tackle the problem.

The research, by Deloitte, found the difference in the hourly pay gap between men and women is closing at a rate of just 2.5 pence per annum. In certain occupations, such as skilled trades and education, the gap is actually widening. Even in female-dominated occupations, such as teaching and caring, men receive considerably higher average pay. At this rate, the gender pay gap will not close for another 53 years.

Interestingly, however, the research found that the gap in starting salaries between men and women who have studied Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects, and who go on to take jobs in these sectors, is far smaller.

“There are many factors that contribute to the gender pay gap,” commented Emma Codd, Managing Partner for Talent at Deloitte. “One of these occurs before entering the workforce, when boys and girls decide what to study at school and university. Starting at GCSE level, where three times more boys than girls take computing and 50% more boys than girls study design and technology, these early decisions drive fundamental skill differences between the genders for those entering the workplace. The trend is likely to continue unless it is addressed now.”

“While educators and policy makers will need to focus on tackling this challenge, the impact that employers can make should not be under-estimated,” she added. “Whether it is providing educators and policymakers with practical insights into career requirements, giving students access to mentors in the STEM professions, or ensuring that the workplace is an environment where women can build successful careers, each business has a part to play. A great deal of progress has been made in the past half century, but we should not wait another 53 years for full parity.”

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