New study reveals shocking amount women earn less than men in their lifetime
When it comes to things that women have to put up with that men don't, the list is pretty much endless. Unfortunately, with sexism ingrained into our culture in many ways, this extends far beyond the obvious signs such as cat-calling or sexual misconduct. Even in the workplace, women are said to be making far less than their male peers, and the recent numbers released only serve to hammer this home even further.
In the UK, a deadline is fast approaching that could solve some of these issues. Next week businesses across the country will be forced to reveal their gender pay gaps. Public sector organizations, private businesses and charities employing over 250 people have until April 6 to publish a breakdown of the mean and median pay for women and men across pay quartiles.
The Equalities and Human Rights Commission said that it will write to all organizations that do not comply, giving them 28 days to hand over this information before an investigation takes place and an unlawful act notice is issued, which will ultimately lead to an unlimited fine decided by the courts.
The current nationwide gender pay gap in England is at 18.4 percent according to possibly-outdated figures, but various companies in sectors like finance have admitted to much wider gaps. Meanwhile, in the United States, it is believed that the pay gap could be up to 20 percent.
Jemima Olchawski, head of policy and insight at the Fawcett Society, a women's rights charity, said this represents a "productivity gap". "It’s bad for women who lose out on potential earnings and career opportunities," she said, "but also bad for businesses who are failing to properly recruit, promote and reward women."
Ahead of the deadline next week, new research has been published which has revealed that in England, women earn an average of £223,000 ($313,000) less than men over the course of their lifetimes. In many areas of the country, that's enough to buy a house outright.
The Young Women's Trust, a charity that supports young women on low or no pay, compiled the analysis. Based on data from the Office for National Statistics, they revealed that an income gap between men and women exists from the time they start work. Women aged between 22 to 29 earn an average of £1,550 less each year than their male colleagues in the same age bracket.
Carole Easton, chief executive of the trust, said:
"Discrimination and unequal caring arrangements still prevent women progressing at work and reaching higher salary bands.
"We need to help more women into male-dominated sectors and into senior positions. Helping parents share childcare more equally and supporting women back into the workforce after taking time out through flexible working opportunities would make a big difference, too.
"Without action, today’s young women face a lifetime of unequal pay."
It's Easton's belief that when businesses find they have a gender pay gap, there should be a requirement put in place to close it as soon as possible. It's hard to disagree with that statement, as it's really what should be legally required in the first place.