Statistics from PwC’s annual Women in Work Index show that the gender pay gap in the UK has slowly fallen over the last 15 years. It also reveals that female boardroom representation has improved over the same period.
PwC’s Women in Work index looks at key indicators of female economic empowerment and combines them into one index for 33 OECD countries. This year the UK has risen from 21st to 16th position in the index.
Whilst there is much to celebrate on International Women’s Day there is clearly still much more work that needs to be done before we reach gender parity in the UK.
A real issue for the UK is that only 42 per cent of the female population is in full time employment compared with 69 per cent of men. This places the UK 30th out of the 33 measured countries. For those in employment, according to PwC the gender wage gap remains at 18.3 per cent and the percentage of women in our boardrooms is still only 17 per cent.
One of the worst areas for gender equality in the workplace which is measurable is bonuses. Research from emolument.com shows that bonus payments are especially unequal for women in the banking and trading business. In banking a woman receives on average £29,000 less in bonuses than a male counterpart on the same base salary of £160,000. Meanwhile the average bonus received by female traders is £72,000, which is less than half of the average male traders’ bonus of £150,000.
The UK Government has recently revealed proposals for gender pay gap reporting. However, the proposal is for big businesses to publish data on the ‘mean gender pay gap’, the ‘median gender pay gap’ and the ‘gender bonus gap’. This does not go far enough as they are not required to explain pay differences or forced to take steps to improve gender pay disparity.
Slater and Gordon is a national law firm leading the way on equal pay. We handle equal pay claims relating to salary, bonus payments and benefits. To speak with an equal pay expert call our employment law solicitors on freephone 0800 916 9060 or contact us online and we’ll be happy to help.
Harriet Bowtell is a senior employment lawyer with Slater and Gordon in London.