Life

This is what would happen if women only did the work they were paid for

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Megan Murray
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Feeling angry about this week’s gender pay gap news? This video might help you crack a smile (and maybe even give you a few ideas). 

Would you like to get paid fairly, and equally, for the work you do? Would you like to know that your employer pays women, on average, about the same as it pays men? Do we even need to ask these questions?

Well, no, we shouldn’t need to ask these questions. But we have had to, for years and years. And we’ll continue to do so until we’re blue in the face – because men are still getting paid more than women.

Last year, for the first time, the government asked British companies with more than 250 employees had to submit data about what they paid male and female employees. We were hopeful that a public naming and shaming would give firms a kick up the proverbial, encouraging them to sort out their (expansive, as it turned out) pay gaps. But a year on, it looks like little has changed.

This year’s deadline for companies to submit their pay gap information fell on 4 April, and with the figures rolling in, the results aren’t looking too good. A BBC analysis of the data found that fewer than half of the UK’s biggest employers had succeeded in narrowing their gender pay gap. Even more depressingly, 45% of British firms have actually managed to increase the gap between what they’re paying men and women, with the finance and insurance sector being revealed as one of the worst industries for equal pay. 

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How do you solve a problem like the gender pay gap?

You can read Stylist’s investigation into why the gender pay gap is getting worse in some industries (and what can be done about it) right here. But with our tongues firmly in our cheeks, we also wanted to raise a middle figure to these stats and imagine what life would be like if women only did the work they felt they were being rewarded fairly for. Because if the average woman in the construction industry is only making 76% of what her male peers earn, she should be able to down tools three-quarters of the way through a job… right?

OK, we’re not seriously suggesting that female cab drivers should start clocking off halfway through a journey, or that fitness instructors should ditch their clients in the middle of a workout. But maybe the big bosses in charge of people’s pay should watch this video, and think a little more carefully about how they’re treating their female staff.

So, if the gender pay gap has got you feeling mad, sad and frustrated, take a (very) deep breath and watch the video above. 

We hope it will make you smile, even for a moment – and then you can get back to demanding serious action on the gender pay gap. 

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Megan Murray

Megan Murray is a digital journalist for stylist.co.uk, who enjoys writing about London happenings, beautiful places, delicious morsels and generally spreading sparkle wherever she can.

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