New figures released today show that the gender pay gap is actually worsening for women in their twenties for the first time in 6 years, meaning that some women are starting their careers worse off than their male colleagues. The Debrief has previously reported that the pay gap for younger women was in decline but these figures show this is no longer the case.
The pay gap also gets wider as women grow older - 22-29 year olds in full-time work have a gap of 5.5% from their male counterparts, which widens to 18.6% by their 50s.
We are increasing transparency around the gender pay gap in the public sector.
The group said the gap expanded to 26 percent for women of Pakistani and Bangladeshi origin and to 24 percent for women of African origin.
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In Britain today the Women's Equality Party are encouraging women to put their out of offices on and stop working because, relative to men, we are effectively all working for free from today until the end of the year.
'The work women do, the industries they work in, and the caring responsibilities they generally shoulder are not valued by our society - not enough to pay them a fair wage. "The lack of progress for women into more senior roles is one of the biggest causes of this pay gap", she says.
In the North East it's growing, up from 8.7% to 10.2%. While Wales (8.3%) and Scotland (11.1%) fall below the United Kingdom average, London has the largest gap at 20.7%. Across the board, women are nearly twice as likely (1.8 times more likely) to receive the lowest pay - with 221,000 women earning less than the statutory minimum wage, 100,000 more women than men. As it happens, Northern Ireland is the only region with a negative pay gap: -3.4 per cent.
The UK Government have in recent years indicated a willingness to deal with discrimination in the workplace through the Equality Act 2010, and more recently a requirement for some companies to publicly disclose data on their own gender pay gaps, with the hopes of "shaming" employers into paying equally.
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Large employers will be required to do this by April next year.
They also found the problem doesn't just apply to low-paid workers, as even university graduates across full and part-time work face a pay gap of 23%.
We will call for a change in the law at Westminster to ensure that any employer who loses an equal pay claim conducts and publishes an equal pay audit and takes appropriate action on the results.
The Government need to do much more to foster a flexible working culture in our workplaces - the default model needs to be all jobs are flexible working jobs unless there is a good business reason for them not to be.
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According to campaign group the Fawcett Society, it could take as long as 100 years to drive down the disparity in earnings.