THE UK gender pay gap will not close until 2069 unless action is taken to tackle it now, according to new research by Deloitte.
Deloitte’s analysis shows that the difference in the hourly pay gap between men and women is closing at a rate of just 2.5 pence per annum. In certain occupations, such as skilled trades and education, the gap is actually widening. Even in female-dominated occupations, such as teaching and caring, men receive considerably higher average pay. At this rate, the gender pay gap will not close for another 53 years.
Significantly, however, the gap in starting salaries between men and women who have studied Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects, and who go on to take jobs in these sectors, is far smaller**.
Emma Codd, managing partner for talent at Deloitte, said: “There are many factors that contribute to the gender pay gap. One of these occurs before entering the workforce, when boys and girls decide what to study at school and university. Starting at GCSE level, where three times more boys than girls take computing and 50% more boys than girls study design and technology, these early decisions drive fundamental skill differences between the genders for those entering the workplace. The trend is likely to continue unless it is addressed now.
“We know that the pay gap is far smaller for those women starting their careers in STEM related roles; we also know that high-skilled jobs demanding a blend of cognitive, social and technical skills are typically among the most highly-paid. Therefore, if more women study STEM subjects and pursue related careers they will increase their earnings potential in the early years of their working lives and – should they remain in their careers – the later ones. This in turn should serve to reduce the gender pay gap.”
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