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Calls for More Equal Split of Low-Paid Work Between Men and Women

New analysis by think-tank the Resolution Foundation has found that the overall gender pay gap could be reduced by 21% if low-paid jobs were evenly distributed among men and women. 

The analysis revealed that while the gender pay gap is generally smaller in low-paying sectors and among low-paid workers, the fact that women are more likely to be found in such sectors is a key reason why women earn less than men on average. At present, 22% of all female workers are low paid – defined as earning less than two-thirds of the typical hourly wage or approximately £8.55 in April 2018 – compared to just 14% of men.

If, instead of this sharp gender divide, those low-paid jobs were evenly distributed between men and women so that 18% of both men and women were low paid, one-fifth of the overall gender pay gap across British workers would be closed.

“It’s brilliant that the gender pay gap is receiving more scrutiny,” commented Conor D’Arcy, Senior Policy Analyst at the Resolution Foundation. “The coverage so far has mainly focused on gaps that result from a lack of women in senior positions in a firm, or the pay of women at prominent organisations such as the BBC. These stories need telling, but so too do the stories of the ‘silent majority’ of low-paid women.”

“If the burden of low-paid work was spread evenly between men and women, rather than women taking on the vast bulk of it as they currently do, the overall gender pay gap would close by a fifth,” he added. “This is a much-needed reality check for companies and Government alike.”

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