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French workers leave work early in support of gender pay gap protest

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This Thursday, Stylist is raising awareness of the UK’s 18.1% gender pay gap by leaving the office at 3.34pm – a symbolic gesture which marks the moment when the average full-time female employee stops earning for the year compared to the average full-time man.

In this week’s magazine, we called on other UK companies and employees to join our campaign.

And we’re not the only country to be taking part in such a protest – yesterday, thousands of workers across France left work at 4.34pm to mark their very own gender pay gap moment.


Read more: Why are women still being paid less than men?


In France, the gap between the average hourly wage for men and women stands at 15.1% – meaning that a woman effectively works 38.2 days out of the year for free.

The French protest was organised by women’s rights campaigners and feminist newsletter Les Glorieuses.

The founder of Les Glorieuses, Rebecca Amsellem, told the BBC: “To be really honest, I knew there was a huge difference between the pay – but I thought the difference would maybe be 10 working days, not a month-and-a-half.”


Read more: How you and your company can help support Stylist's #EqualPayDay initiative


In Iceland, female workers have been marking the gender pay gap by walking out on the 24 October for the last 11 years. The time at which they leave is decided each year by comparing their average hourly-rate with that of their male-counterparts – this year the difference meant that they left at 2.38pm.

Depressingly, the time they leave has only increased by half an hour since the initiative started – meaning that if salaries continue to increase at the same slow pace, it will be another 52 years before women in Iceland are paid the same as men.

Iceland’s pay gap matches the EU average at 16.7%, while the UK and Germany have a wider pay gap than almost every other country in the EU at 20.9% and 22.3% respectively, according to figures by Eurostat.

If you would like to take part in Stylist’s Equal Pay Day Campaign this Thursday, you can find out how to do so by visiting stylist.co.uk/equalpayday.

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