Gender pay gap is widest in your 50’s

Man sitting on big pile of coins next to woman sitting on smaller pile of coins to demonstrate gender gap
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According to The Guardian, women get paid less than men at every stage in their careers, but this statistic is widest during their 50’s.

The TUC figures, from the Office for National Statistics, show that the pay gap starts as soon as women begin working.

An 18-year-old woman working full-time will earn on average £1,395 a year less than her male counterpart. In her 20s, she’ll earn £1,944 less a year than men of the same age, and in her 30s it is £3,034 on average.

When women enter their 40s, the gap more than doubles to £7,234 a year – or £72,340 over the entire decade.

Finally, when women turn 50 they earn £8,504 less a year than men, as parental responsibilities and caring for older relatives takes it’s toll on female paychecks.

TUC general secretary, Frances O’Grady, said:

“Women suffer a huge pay penalty over the course of their careers, which peaks in their 50s. At current rates of progress it will take decades for women to achieve pay parity with men.”

“Having children has starkly different effects on men’s and women’s pay, with women earning less after having kids, and men earning more. Far more needs to be done to help mums get back into decent, well-paid jobs after they have kids – and to encourage dads to take on their share of caring responsibilities.”

Progress has been made on closing the gender pay gap, but it has begun to slow down in the last few years. If the pay gap continues to fall at just 0.2% a year, it will take 47 years to achieve pay parity between men and women.

A government spokesperson commented: “The gender pay gap is the lowest on record … but we are committed to eliminating it completely. That’s why we’re taking action by requiring employers to publish their gender pay and bonus gaps for the first time ever from April next year.

“We are modernising the workplace through shared parental leave, doubling the amount of free childcare available to working parents and we are working with employers to make sure that women, no matter their age, have the support they need to stay in the workforce.”

The TUC recommended a number of measures, including better paid paternity leave. The union called on the government to go further and force employers to publish an action plan for shrinking the gender pay gap, with sanctions for those who refuse to comply.


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