Equal Pay Day: Women working for free until the end of the year

10 November 2016 -


The gender pay gap means women in the UK are no longer earning a salary, with men already having received the equivalent of a women’s annual salary by 10 November 2016

Matt Scott

From today onwards, women across the country will be effectively working without pay as a result of the gender pay gap.

Calculated using the mean full time gender pay gap, the Fawcett Society has named 10 November 2016 as equal pay day (EPD) – the date at which men have already earnt the annual salary of a woman in an equivalent role.

EPD 2016 falls only one day later than last year, which means the pay gap is closing, but at the current rate of progress it will take over 60 years to close the gender pay gap.

Fawcett Society chief executive Sam Smethers said: “A root cause of the gender pay gap is that we don’t value the work done by women. As we mark EPD this year we are focusing on the fundamental question of who and what we value and asking why it is that we don’t value women and the work they do – paid or unpaid.

“Equal value goes to the heart of the fight for pay equality, because the reality is that if it is a sector dominated by women the pay will be lower.”

The Fawcett Society research found that the jobs women do are more likely to be low paid, and they are less likely to receive bonuses or to progress to the most senior and highest paid roles.

Women still face discrimination in the workplace with 54,000 women having to leave their jobs early every year after having a baby or becoming pregnant.

In addition, the under-valuing of caring roles means those not in paid employment but working looking after loved ones often do not have sufficient support and recognition and are often excluded from opportunities to move into paid work.

Some 80% of care workers are women, while 90% of the science, technology, engineering and manufacturing sector workforces are men, and jobs which are traditionally done by women are paid less than those which are mostly carried out by men.

CMI director of strategy Petra Wilton said it was through greater transparency and a focus on the talent pipeline that the gap could be closed.

“Equal pay day is a stark reminder that women are still missing out,” she said. “Although the national gender pay gap is 13.5%, the picture is far worse for those in management where the gap is 23%.

“This is why CMI fully supports the need for greater transparency in reporting, and looks forward to the publication of further guidance on the Government’s gender pay gap reporting regulations, so that employers can get prepared.”

Wilton also welcomed the first report from the Hampton-Alexander review setting a clear target for FTSE 100 companies to have a third of executive committees made up of women by 2020.

“This will be a very stretching target, as CMI’s own research shows a leaky pipeline, where too many women are not progressing beyond middle management,” she said. “That’s why we’re focusing on that missing middle, and launching CMI Women’s ‘Blueprint for Balance’ at the end of the month, to help provide companies with practical tools to help attract and retain the female leaders for the future.”

CMI’s Gender Salary Survey found that male managers are 40% more likely than female managers to be promoted into management roles, with analysis of the salary data from 60,000 UK employees finding that 14% of men in management roles were promoted into higher positions compared to 10% of women.

Even allowing for staff turnover, men continue to be promoted ahead of women in management roles. The data reveal that for managers who have stayed with the same employer for the last five years, 47% of men were promoted compared to 39% of women.

This difference in promotion rates is one of the main causes of the gender pay gap, which the research found remains largely unchanged this year at 23.1% compared to 22.8% in 2015.

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