Men have traditionally always been paid more than women but according a new report by the Resolution Foundation, the difference in pay for workers aged 20-29 is now just five per cent: the equivalent of a man earning £30,000 while a woman earns £28,500.
However, the report has shown there is a significant rise in the gap for workers in their 30s. Latest figures show that at age 30 the pay gap is nine per cent, prompting fears that if the gap continued at that rate in their mid-40s, women might find themselves behind by almost 30 per cent – the equivalent of a man earning £50,000 while a woman earns £35,000.
Progress is being made; the Equal Pay Act made it illegal for men and women who are doing the exact same job to be paid different amounts, and in 2018 companies who have more than 250 workers will need to disclose how much they pay men and women.
Laura Gardiner, senior policy analyst at the Resolution Foundation, said:
“Successive generations of women have benefitted from slow but steady progress in closing the gender pay gap. Young women today face relatively little disadvantage in terms of their pay packets compared to what their parents’ and grandparents’ generation faced.
But while many millennial women haven’t experienced much of a pay gap yet, most probably will once they reach their 30s, when they start having children. What’s more this pay penalty is big and long-lasting, and remains for younger generations despite the progress in early careers.
As people continue to live and work for longer, it’s important that businesses, policy makers and civic society continue to focus on closing the gender pay gap at all ages, and for every generation.”