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Written by Amy Beecham
The results of the government’s latest gender pay gap report are frustrating and sadly unsurprising.
The government’s latest gender pay gap report has revealed that last year, women in the UK were paid 90p for every £1 earned by a man. Employers with over 250 staff are required to submit payroll figures to the government each year as part of gender pay gap reporting regulations.
This year’s report, published in April, found that in industries including finance, communication and construction, the median gap widened, with women receiving 88p, 83p and 76p respectively compared to their male counterparts.
Amid a cost of living crisis, it paints a bleak yet unsurprising picture of the realities of being a woman in 2022.
Among the high-profile companies reporting particularly large gender gaps was easyJet, where data suggested that women’s median wage stood at just 36p for every £1 that men earned last year. Other companies reporting that median male earnings were at least double that of female employees include HSBC along with several academy trusts.
However, a spokesperson for easyJet said in response that its “gender pay submission does not represent a complete picture because the data from 2021 included pilots, while the majority of our predominantly female UK cabin crew community remained on furlough”.
“We have always been clear that our gender pay gap is not a result of unequal pay but of gender balance in our pilot community, which is predominantly male,” it continued.
“This is a known, industry-wide challenge that will take many years to reverse and one which we have been actively trying to tackle for a number of years.”
While the Sex Discrimination Act and the Equal Pay Act were introduced back in 1970, widespread progress towards financial equality has been limited.
Last year, the Institute for Fiscal Studies claimed that the gender pay gap has seen “barely any change” over the past 25 years once increases in women’s education are accounted for.
What’s more, a 2021 report commissioned by the non-profit organisation People Like Us also showed that workers from Black, Asian, mixed-race and minority ethnic communities are being paid only 84% of what their colleagues in similar roles are earning.
On International Women’s Day 2022, the Gender Pay Gap Bot took to Twitter tohighligh the difference in pay between men and women at each organisation posting in support of the cause.
The account, which has since amassed over 250,000 followers, shared in response to the government report: “Gender pay gap data for 2021-2022 is released today. Shall we take a look at who’s closing the gap, and who’s widening it?”
The CIPD echoed that the latest figures indeed “show that very little has changed when it comes to addressing the gender pay gap in Great Britain”.
A spokesperson added: “Employers shouldn’t just report the numbers; instead they need to understand the reason for any gap and be transparent about how they plan to tackle it.”
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