Women close pay gap with men

The gender pay gap closed slightly last year, with women gaining higher paid
jobs, and high-profile discrimination cases influencing employers’ hiring

Figures from the Office for National Statistics out yesterday show that the
gap narrowed from 14.5% to 13.2%, however, the average man still earns £100 more
a week than the average woman.

At the current rate of progress, it would take 30 years to close the gap, the
Guardian newspaper has calculated.

Kate Bellamy, senior policy officer for The Fawcett Society said in the
paper: ‘We are calling on the government today to take bold new measures to end
the unfair pay gap that causes so many women to be financially dependent on a
partner or the state.’

The society, which campaigns for pay equality between the sexes, is also
hoping for compulsory audits to reveal pay inequalities.

The ONS annual survey of hours and earnings also showed that the pay gap
between rich and poor grew wider in 2005, and there was also an increase in the
number of people earning less than the minimum wage.

It found that median earnings for full-time workers in the public sector rose
4.1% to £475 a week last year, compared with the 2.5% rise to £413 in the
private sector.

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