The UK’s gender pay gap will not close until 2041, according to a new report.
The report, released by PwC, found that the pay gap in the UK would take another 24 years to close at the current rate of progress.
The study also suggests that if historic trends continue countries such as the United States and France won’t close their gap for another century, while Germany would not close theirs for another three.
The latest PwC Women in Work Index, has shown that slow but steady progress is continuing across OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) countries.
Despite this the gender pay gap continues to be a major issue, with the average working woman in the OECD still earning 16 per cent less than her male counterpart – despite becoming better qualified.
PwC’s report measures the levels of female economic empowerment across 33 OECD countries based on five indicators. The OECD is an economic organisation with 35 member countries, founded in 1960 to stimulate economic progress and world trade.
The report shows that Nordic countries, including Iceland, Sweden and Norway are still leading the way when it comes to closing the gap. The UK currently ranks at 13th in the index, up one position from the year before.
Yong Jing Teow, PwC economist and co-author of the report said, “There is much more that businesses and governments could do to address the causes of the gender pay gap, which are deep rooted.”
“Policy levers that improve access to affordable childcare and shared parental leave have been shown to get more women in quality work.”
“Businesses can also make flexible opportunities more widely available, enabling their employees to manage their family commitments around work.”
Following the release of the report, the Women and Equalities Committee have condemned the government for not doing enough to close the gap.
Maria Miller, chair of the committee, said, “Without effectively tackling the key issues of flexible working, sharing unpaid caring responsibilities, and supporting women aged over 40 back into the workforce, the gender pay gap will not be eliminated.”
“We made practical, evidence-based recommendations to address these issues.”
“They were widely supported by a range of stakeholders including businesses, academics and unions.”
“It is deeply disappointing that our recommendations have not been taken on board by Government.”
A government spokesperson responded saying, “We are committed to tackling the gender pay gap and our policies, which aim to balance the needs of employees and businesses while addressing this gap, are working.”
“But we know there’s more to do.”
“That’s why we are requiring employers to publish their gender pay and gender bonus gap for the first time from April and we are giving working parents of three and four year olds up to 30 hours of free childcare from September.”