10th November is Equal Pay Day
Women work for free until the end of the year
Charity warns of threat to women’s right to equal pay post-Brexit
Thursday 10th November 2016 is Equal Pay Day (EPD). This means that women are effectively working for free from 10th November to the end of the calendar year, because on average they earn less than men. EPD is calculated using the mean full time gender pay gap , which is currently 13.9%.
EPD 2016 falls only one day later than EPD 2015 which means the pay gap is closing. But at the current rate of progress it will take over 60 years to close the gender pay gap . With low pay impacting on the lives of millions of women and with mounting evidence of the impact gender inequality has on our economy, it’s clear we simply can’t afford to wait that long.
The pay gap represents the difference between what women are paid and what they are really worth, so this year the Fawcett Society will be marking Equal Pay Day using the theme #EqualValue.
The jobs women do are more likely to be low paid, they are less likely to receive bonuses or to progress to the most senior and highest paid roles. Women still face discrimination in the workplace with 54,000 women having to leave their jobs early every year after having a baby or becoming pregnant. In addition, the under-valuing of caring roles means those not in paid employment but working looking after loved ones often do not have sufficient support and recognition and are often excluded from opportunities to move into paid work.
In our highly gender segregated labour market the concept of #EqualValue goes to the heart of the fight for gender equality. 80% of care workers are women, 90% of the science, technology, engineering and manufacturing sector workforces are men. Jobs which are traditionally done by women are paid less than those which are mostly carried out by men. One US study found that as women moved into male-dominated sectors the pay fell. So perhaps it is women we undervalue rather than the jobs they do?
The Fawcett Society welcomes the Government’s forthcoming introduction of mandatory gender pay gap reporting, which will mean that companies with over 250 staff will be obliged to publish both their mean and median pay gap. However, to ensure this step genuinely tackles the pay gap there should also be a requirement to publish an action plan on how employers will close the gap and there must be penalties for those who do not comply. The Fawcett Society will continue to campaign for action on all causes of the pay gap, to speed up the pace of change and close the gender pay gap for good.
How to get involved – Social media activity
Tweet a photo of yourself doing the job that you are proud of – this could be either paid or unpaid work – to highlight the contribution of women to our economy and our society. Or tweet a photo of yourself with women in your workplace or in your life of whom you are proud. Please use #EqualValue and tell us why you’re proud of what you/they do or why closing the pay gap matters to you.
Men can get involved too
We’d love men to tweet images of themselves undertaking important work traditionally perceived to be undertaken by women. Perhaps you are a stay at home Dad or work in a female dominated industry- from care work and nursing to primary school teaching and cabin crew, please tweet an image of yourself at work along with your thoughts on why closing the pay gap matters. Or perhaps you can tweet about the work done by your female colleagues, friends or family, highlighting why you are proud of, and value, their contribution?
Employers – show how you value the women in your workforce
We’d like to see employers getting involved by tweeting photos of their female staff, with a statement about what they are doing to tackle the gender pay gap or to ensure women are valued and can progress in their workplaces.
We’re asking everyone who takes part to use #EqualValue.
Read the full press release here
Read Fawcett’s full in-depth policy briefing here
Read our initial announcement of the Equal Pay Day date here.
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