Gender gap to remain for generations

Jul 24 2007 by Nic Paton Print This Article

A child born today will have reached pensionable age before there is an equal balance of women and men in Britain's boardrooms, while the UK's gender pay gap is unlikely to close for another 20 years.

A study by the UK's Equal Opportunities Commission has warned that at the present rate of progress gender equality is still generations away.

By the organisation's calculations, the "power gap" for women in Parliament will take almost 200 years to close.

Similarly, it will take up to 65 years to have a more equitable balance of women at the top of FTSE-100 companies.

The "pensions gap", where women are left worse off at retirement than men because of gaps in their contributions from raising a family or career breaks, will take 45 years to equalise.

The EOC has estimated that retired women's income is currently 40 per cent less than men's.

When it comes to pay equality, it will be 25 years before the gap for part-time workers is closed, and 20 years for the "full-time pay gap" to be shut.

Women, it estimated, working part-time currently earned 38 per cent less per hour than men working full time, with full-time female employees earned 17 per cent less.

The "flexible working gap" is also unlikely ever to change unless further action is taken, argued the EOC.

Even though half of working men said they would like to work more flexibly, currently women were much more likely than men (63 per cent more likely) to work flexibly.

Jenny Watson, Equal Opportunities Commission chair, said: "These startling indicators suggest that the reality of far too many men's and women's lives is out of step with their aspirations.

"A country that channels women into low paid work, fails to adequately support families and forces people who want to work flexibly to trade down in jobs pays a high price in terms of child poverty, family breakdown and low productivity. This is a challenge that Gordon Brown's new government urgently needs to address," she added.


Older Comments

Has is occured to the EOC that the reason that there aren't more women in boardrooms is that women don't WANT to run large public companies?

Helen F London