The gender pay gap deadline is at the forefront of a lot of the news in the UK today. In tonight’s Dispatch, we’re taking a look at what the most up-to-date data says – as well as highlighting a campaign by female MPs to support women in tackling the gap. Further afield, a woman in China is marching for more than 100km to try and find her missing husband, and Steven Spielberg has said that one of his most iconic male characters could become a woman.
Gender pay gap data reveals UK men are paid almost 10% more than women
There was a scramble on Wednesday as companies rushed to publish their gender pay gap data before the government’s midnight deadline. It has been suggested that this last-minute filing was down to bosses hoping their data would be ‘buried’ in all the coverage of the gender pay gap – but it had the unwanted side effect of crashing the government’s gender pay portal.
Before the site froze, the Financial Times reported that the latest figures showed that men are paid on average 9.9% more than women in Britain.
Some 9,053 employers had submitted their pay gap data – exceeding the government’s estimate than 9,000 employers would have to report.
The data showed that the gender pay gap was worst in the financial and insurances services sector and the construction, mining and quarrying industries. The smallest pay gaps were reported in the accommodation and food services and health and social care sectors.
Read more on this story here.
Female MPs launch #PayMeToo campaign
Knowing your company or industry’s gender pay gap is one thing, but knowing what to do next is quite another. That’s why a cross-party group of female MPs has launched the #PayMeToo campaign, to advise women on how to tackle the pay gap where they work.
The campaign is being led by Labour MP Stella Creasy, and has support from MPs from Labour, the Conservatives, the Liberal Democrats, Plaid Cymru and the Scottish National Party.
“Across Britain many women have their own stories of experiencing pay discrimination including me – now they need to know they have MPs ready to listen to them and act if this gap isn’t closed,” said Creasy.
Read more about the #PayMeToo campaign, and what it advises women to do, here.
Chinese woman marches for ‘vanished’ husband
The wife of a detained Chinese lawyer is marching more than 100km to try and find out what happened to him.
Li Wenzu’s husband, Wang Quanzhang, was arrested in August 2015 during a nationwide crackdown by the Chinese government on rights activists. She has not seen him since, and has now set out on the 12-day walk from Beijing to Tianjin in search of answers.
“[The government has] abused all of our rights,” Li told Reuters. “Arresting an innocent person like this, locking him up for almost 1,000 days, I think this is cruel. It’s heartless.”
Before his arrest, Wang had represented people who complained of police torture, and also defended members of the Falun Gong spiritual movement. Falun Gong is a practice that combines meditation and exercises with a philosophy of truthfulness, compassion and self-control, but has been decreed as an illegal cult by the Chinese government.
The government has said that those detained as part of the ‘709 crackdown’, the name given to the wave of arrests that included Wang, were part of “a major criminal gang that has seriously damaged social order”.
Read more on this story at BBC News.
Steven Spielberg says Indiana Jones could be played by a woman
The title role in the Indiana Jones film franchise could be played by a woman once Harrison Ford hangs up his whip, Steven Spielberg has said.
The director, who has helmed each of the four Indiana Jones films, said he expects the 75-year-old Ford to retire from playing Jones after the next film in the franchise (currently slated for release in 2020). And he added that he saw no reason why a woman couldn’t take on the role of the daring archaeology professor.
“We’d have to change the name from Jones to Joan,” he told The Sun. “And there would be nothing wrong with that.”
Spielberg has been a vocal supporter of the Time’s Up movement, and said he had been inspired by the example of his mother – who died last year at the age of 97 – and Kate Capshaw, his wife of almost two decades.
“My mum was strong,” he said. “She had a voice, she had a very strong opinion. I have been very lucky to be influenced by women, several of whom I have just loved madly – my mum and my wife.”
Read more on this story here.
Throughout 2018, Stylist is raising the profiles of brilliant women past and present – and empowering future generations to follow their lead – with our Visible Women campaign. See more from Visible Women here.
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