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Women face 100-year wait for end of gender pay gap

·2-min read
commuters london bridge
commuters london bridge

Women face a 100 year wait for the gender pay gap to be closed if progress on salaries continues to crawl at the current rate, new research shows.

Despite widespread efforts to improve gender equality at work, almost half of UK companies reported an increase in their gender pay gap for the last year, PwC analysis showed, meaning that on average women in the UK still earn 87p to every £1 earned by men.

British businesses have become so desperate to change the composition of their boardrooms in recent years that they have been urging headhunters to come up with all-female shortlists, but little has changed in terms of gender pay gap reporting. Since records began five years ago the mean gender pay gap has declined by only 0.5pc, PwC said.

Katy Bennett, diversity director at PwC UK, said: "If the current rate of progress continues - so far achieving a 0.5pc reduction over five years  - the UK’s gender pay gap won’t disappear until 2151.

"A century - five more generations of women - is too long to wait."

FTSE 350 companies were told by ministers earlier this year that they will be required to have a minimum of one woman in the role of chairman, chief executive, finance officer or senior independent director by the end of 2025.

Companies with more than 250 staff are required to report their gender pay gap as part of the Government's aim to end the difference between salaries of both genders.

PwC’s warning comes after the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) said in December that almost no progress has been made on closing Britain’s gender pay gap in the last 25 years when accounting for women’s leaps in education.

The IFS said that progress could be made with government intervention, arguing that even expensive policies, such as free childcare, would pay for themselves.

The pay gap between men and women for the amount earned per hour has narrowed from 24pc in 1995 to 19pc, the economic think tank said in December.

It also emerged on Friday that men’s pensions are worth more than double their female counterparts when they retire.

Legal & General studied the pension pots of more than 50,000 British people who retired in 2021. The average amount saved by women was £12,000, while the equivalent of a male retiree at the same age was more than twice that at £26,000.

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