Last week (10th November) was the UK’s annual ‘Equal pay day’ marking the point in the year from which effectively women are working for free – kind of.
Shocking figures dared to admit women were effectively working for free from now until Christmas. This reflects the average difference calculated between what women and men are paid.
On average women earn 13.7% less than men, effectively meaning females as were representatively working for free from the 10th of November until the New Year fireworks light up our sky. These figures are calculated by the Fawcett Society using ONS gender pay gap statistics.
Angry menimists and uneducated individuals then took to Twitter to share the reports that frequent our timelines and news outlets each year to recognise equal pay day.
What’s important to recognise here is that a major contributor to the Gender Pay Gap is motherhood: women often take sole responsibility for leave once a baby is born. Care-taking obligations primarily fall onto women, this has a huge effect on the Gender Pay Gap. Shared leave is a current idea being pushed, if you can call equal parenting a radical idea, so that next year Equal Pay Day can be pushed to later in the year, signifying another step forward towards equality.
Women have been campaigning for equal pay in the UK for over 50 years, but the pay gap remains, although it has dropped significantly.
This surge of activism comes after gender pay gap reporting regulations were altered earlier this year forcing any companies with a workforce of over 250 employees had to publish their salary figures, reflecting any differences in pay between genders.
Of that published data: 78 % pay men more than women, 13% pay women more and 8 per cent said they had no gender pay gap.
Currently in the UK The Fawcett Society is trying to encourage UK workers to talk more openly about their salaries in a bid to end equality through opacity. Many reports in recent years have shown that when male celebrities realise they’re being paid more than their female counterparts they either take a cut or demand their female equivalents are paid fairly.
Sam Smethers, Fawcett Society chief executive, said: “In workplaces all over the country, pay discrimination is able to thrive and is more common than people realise because of a culture of pay secrecy which persists. People do not know their basic rights and do not know what their colleagues earn.”
Feminist activists and pissed off female workers are taking to Twitter and calling for women to switch their out of offices on for the rest of the year.
Catherine Mayer, co-founder of the Women’s Equality Party, tweeted: “I’ve switched on my #OutofOffice for the rest of 2018 & my Twitter isn’t working either.
“Why? Because the #genderpaygap means this is the last day until Jan UK women get paid to work relative to men. The gap is greater for BAME & disabled women.”
In a bid to set a date to aim towards for total pay equality between the sexes a huge bash has been marked in Trafalgar Sqaure for the momentous occassion. The World Economic Forum have predicted that, given the current rate of change, in 2235 gender pay gap will close.
According to The Guardian, Labour MP Stella Creasy said the party, which she has organised and which will be hosted by the mayor of London Sadiq Khan, carries a serious message.
“Shedding a light on a problem doesn’t necessarily do anything about it,” she said. “The government doesn’t have an explicit commitment to act on the causes of this gap and we want to change that. Enough talking about the pay gap – it’s time to take action to end it.”
“Young Women’s Trust research shows that young women apprentices earn eight per cent less than their male counterparts, leaving them more than £1,000 a year worse off,” said the trust’s chief executive, Dr Carole Easton. “The sectors women tend to work in – such as administration, health and social care and retail – are not valued and paid as much as they should be.”