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Closing the gender pay gap

In 1997 the gender pay gap in the UK was reportedly a massive 17%, and unsurprisingly the topic is still a hotbed of debate. With a new report showing that the chasm has fallen to an all-time low, is it time for us to celebrate?

This year's fabulous Brit flick Made in Dagenham told the true story of 187 female Ford workers who went on strike for equal pay, leading to the Equal Pay Act of 1970. Forty years later, it seems that we may be finally winning the salary battle.

New figures released by the Office for National Statistics show that the difference between men’s and women’s median pay has fallen from 12.2% to 10.2% in the last year, the biggest drop and the closest it’s been since reporting began in 1997. The reduction is thought to be the result of women seeing bigger pay increases this year.

In addition, there’s good news for women in their 20s: those working full time will actually earn 2.1% more than a man in her age group, turning the table on the general belief that women are generally paid less than men. However, although this is wonderful news, we’re far from getting the party poppers out.

From 30 onwards, the general trend of women earning less than men continues. The gap between women and men in their 30s working full-time is 2.9%, and in the 40-49 and 50-59 age groups the gap bounces back to a ravine at 27.4%. In addition, whilst the full-time pay gap looks to be heading in the right direction, the gender pap amongst part-time workers remains considerable.

There’s still a long way to go…

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