THE gender pay gap has actually got wider for some women and will now take 100 years to close, an equality think tank warns today.
Younger women are now seeing their pay fall behind that of men, the Fawcett Society said as it warned that society is “going backwards.”
Last year saw the difference between women’s and men’s median hourly earnings — across both full and part time — increase by 0.2 per cent to 18.4 per cent.
The gap is wider for women in their fifties, at 18.6 per cent, but has significantly grown among women in their twenties — from 1.1 per cent in 2011 to 5.5 per cent this year.
Fawcett Society chief executive Sam Smethers said: “The pay gap is widest for older women as it grows over our working lives but we are now seeing a widening of the pay gap for younger women too.
“At a time when we are breaking the taboo of talking about sexual harassment in the workplace, we need to wake up to the fact that a culture which tolerates or even fosters sexual harassment isn’t going to pay women properly either, and we know that younger women are particularly likely to experience harassment.”
The Young Women’s Trust warns that at the current rate, today’s young women will be retired before equal pay exists.
TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “The government needs to boost pay for undervalued jobs mainly done by women, such as social care, and ministers must do more to remove the barriers that stop women getting jobs in better-paid professions.
“Employers must help mums and dads share caring responsibilities equally.”