1st January 2023

The Fawcett Society has today published new data from marginal 'red wall' constituencies on which policies to tackle the gender pay gap would win their votes in a forthcoming general election. 

Our key findings:

  • 84% of women in red wall constituencies say that taking action on the gender pay gap is important to them when deciding which party to vote for in a general election.
  • 36% of women in red wall constituencies would like to work more (paid) hours than they currently do but are being prevented by reasons including a lack of flexible work (33%), their caring responsibilities (23%), and affordable childcare (23%).
  • 75% of women in red wall constituencies said that affordable childcare is important to them when deciding which party to vote for.
  • 71% of red wall women say that requiring employers to have gender pay gap action plans would make them more likely to vote for a party. 

Read the full briefing here: the Gender Pay Gap and Red Wall Constituencies

We are calling on Government to:

  • Improve pay gap reporting by:
    • Introducing mandatory ethnicity pay gap reporting for employers
    • Requiring employers to publish action plans to tackle their pay gaps, so that real action is taken to reduce pay inequality with accountability and transparency built in
    • Lowering the threshold for pay gap reporting to 100 employees, bringing the UK closer to the standards set by other countries.

  • Require employers to offer flexible work arrangements as default and advertise jobs with flexibility built-in.

  • Reform the childcare system to increase affordability whilst ensuring our children get the best start in life.

  • Ban questions about salary history during recruitment and require salary bands to be displayed on job advertisements.

  • Introduce a free standing and legally enforceable ‘Right to Know’ what a male colleague is paid for equal work

This research is based on a poll we commissioned Survation to conduct in 'red wall' constituencies - constituencies in the Midlands and North of England, that were ‘Con gain from Lab’ at the 2019 general election. The data tables from Survation are available to download here and will be accessible on Survation's website soon.