10% of employers pay women less than men for the same work

A YouGov survey for the charity Young Women's Trust (YWT) suggests that one in ten UK employers pays women less than men for same-level jobs - rising to one in eight in large organisations

The news follows the recent revelation of significant differences in pay between male and female top-earners at the BBC. YWT surveyed 800 HR decision-makers. A tenth of those in the private sector and 13% in the public sector said they were aware of women being paid less in their workplace when compared to men performing the same role.

In the UK, according to YWT, the full-time gender pay gap is almost 14% and "at the slow rate it is narrowing, it will take another 50 years to close the gap. By then, today's young women will have retired," while many employers believe the gap will never be closed, it says.

The situation is worse for young women apprentices, who on average earn 21% less than young male apprentices, "leaving them £2,000 a year worse off". YWT believes this is because sectors in which "women tend to work", including care, administration and retail, are more likely to be poorly paid.

The government is now making organisations with more than 250 employees publish their gender pay gaps by April 2018. However, 44% of respondents did not believe the measure will help to remedy gender-based pay inequality.

YWT chief executive, Dr Carole Easton, said: "We need urgent action to close the gap. Gender pay gap reporting is a great step forward, but does not go far enough. The new legislation will only be effective if the government puts in place and enforces penalties for firms that fail to report their pay gaps accurately. Where pay gaps do exist, like at the BBC, Young Women's Trust would like to see companies obliged to put in place plans to reduce them.

"Pay transparency alone will not change the gender stereotypes that often determine the types of roles men and women take and the industries they work in. We need action to support young women into male-dominated areas if we are to achieve equal pay. Providing more part-time and flexible working opportunities, for example, including apprenticeships, would help many women balance work and family life. Without action - today's young women face a lifetime of unequal pay," she warned.

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