Women are effectively working for free for the rest of the year due to the disparages between men and women’s wages.
Equal Pay Day marks the day that women will work for free because on average they earn less than men. The day is calculated using the mean full time gender pay gap, which currently stands at 13.9 per cent.
Equal Pay Day coincides with the release of the Women and Equalities Committee Gender Pay Gap report. The report suggests that the pay gap can be put down to the part time pay penalty; women’s disproportionate responsibility for childcare; and the high number of women in ‘female’, low paid roles such as retail and cleaning.
Sam Smethers, Fawcett Society Chief Executive, 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.”
Continuing Smether’s added, “We won’t finally close the gender pay gap until we end pay discrimination, address the unequal impact of caring roles, tackle occupational segregation and routinely open up senior roles to women.”
Despite the continued gender pay gap, there are signs of improvement. Equal Pay Day falls one day later than in 2015, which means that the pay gap is closing. In October, it was reported that the gender pay gap had fallen to an all time low.
However, at the current rate of progress, it will take over 60 years to close the gender pay gap. According to a report released in September, the gender pay gap is not expected to close in the UK until 2069, 99 years after the 1970 Equal Pay Act was passed.