Steps need to be taken to address the UK's gender pay gap, it has been argued.
General secretary of the Trades Union Congress Brendan Barber called for action after observing that the days of equal pay appear to be "as distant as ever".
He was commenting after the Office for National Statistics released annual figures and said that for part-time work the difference is more than 35 per cent.
"It shouldn't require a recession to make inroads into the gender pay gap," Mr Barber stated, calling for government to take action over discrimination.
"Employers are not going to close the pay gap of their own accord," he added.
Last week, the British Medical Association identified a sex discrimination problem in the medical profession, finding that female doctors typically earn around £15,000 less than their male counterparts.
Furthermore, women can face a hostile culture when trying to advance careers, according to the body.