The Gender Pay Gap - Is Progress Really Being Made?

The gender pay gap has been widely reported throughout the UK for a number of years. Most articles tend to focus on the date at which women begin ‘working for free’. Although this stat is important, and it’s been great for raising awareness of the issue, the true cost of lost earnings for women in the UK is often lost behind the headlines. In this article, we will explore the true cost of lost earnings, how the gender pay gap has changed over time and which towns are the biggest culprits of pay inequality.

How The Gender Pay Gap Has Changed Through The Years

We studied data from 1970-2017 to understand how pay inequality has changed over the last 47 years. This would give us a clear picture of the working life of a person who began working in 1970 at age 18 and retired in 2017 at age 65.

Throughout their working life, the gender pay gap has reduced, with significant progress being made throughout the years. In 1970, men earned a massive 84% more than women on average.

By 2017, this figure had reduced dramatically but was still at 25%.

Although public awareness of the gender pay gap has exploded over the last 5 years, unfortunately, progress has slowed significantly. The pay gap has reduced by just 1% from 2012 (126%) to 2017 (125%).

If the improvements made over the last 5 years continue at the current rate, the gender pay gap would not disappear until the year 2142.

Although the conversation is now more open than ever, which is clearly a good thing – the figures suggest that little progress is being made on the issue.

The Average Pay of Men vs Women in 2017

The average pay for a man in the UK is £37,512.80 per year, with women earning £30,113.20 on average. This represents an extra £7,399.60 per annum – This is the equivalent of 13 weeks of the average UK household spending in 2017 according to ONS.

The reduced pay effectively means that women are ‘working for free’ from October 21st.

The Total Cost Of Lost Earnings For Women

Although percentages and annual lost earnings make for some shocking statistics, the bigger picture shows the true scale of the inequality.

For a woman of 18 who began work in 1970 and received the national average income for a female each year, the total lost income by 2017 is £234,702 less than her male counterpart. Based on these figures man would be able to retire over 8 years earlier and would still have earned the same amount over the course of their career.

Regional Differences in Pay Inequality

Although the gender pay gap is a national problem, the issue is worse in some constituencies than others.

Men in Derby South earn a shocking 41.1% more than their female counterparts – a figure not seen nationally since 1992.

Although Derby South is shockingly above the national average, they are not alone. Below is a table of the top 25 constituencies with the biggest pay inequality nationally.

ConstituencyPay Gap (%)Year Equivalent
Derby South41.11992
Weaver Vale37.61999
Gravesham36.91999
Kingston upon Hull North35.02002
Kenilworth and Southam34.42004
Cleethorpes33.32004
Solihull33.12004
Easington32.22004
Wolverhampton South West32.22004
Blaenau Gwent32.22004
Ribble Valley31.92004
Erewash31.12008
Ilford South30.92008
Gedling30.52008
New Forest East30.32009
Birmingham, Erdington29.92009
Meon Valley29.82009
South Swindon29.72009
North West Cambridgeshire29.62009
Gillingham and Rainham29.32009
Aldershot29.22009
Newport East29.12009
Vale of Glamorgan28.92009
Wolverhampton South East28.82009
Arundel and South Downs28.62009

Gender Pay Gap Figures By Year

YearMenWomenIncome LostPay Gap %
1970£1,560.00£847.60£712.40184%
1971£1,710.80£951.60£759.20180%
1972£1,908.40£1,066.00£842.40179%
1973£2,178.80£1,201.20£977.60181%
1974£2,480.40£1,398.80£1,081.60177%
1975£3,161.60£1,944.80£1,216.80163%
1976£3,733.60£2,402.40£1,331.20155%
1977£4,087.20£2,652.00£1,435.20154%
1978£4,633.20£2,932.80£1,700.40158%
1979£5,272.80£3,276.00£1,996.80161%
1980£6,474.00£4,097.60£2,376.40158%
1981£7,306.00£4,752.80£2,553.20154%
1982£8,034.00£5,148.00£2,886.00156%
1983£8,710.00£5,657.60£3,052.40154%
1983£8,564.40£5,694.00£2,870.40150%
1984£9,297.60£6,094.40£3,203.20153%
1985£10,004.80£6,572.80£3,432.00152%
1986£10,790.00£7,134.40£3,655.60151%
1987£11,648.00£7,701.20£3,946.80151%
1988£12,781.60£8,538.40£4,243.20150%
1989£14,014.00£9,479.60£4,534.40148%
1990£15,371.20£10,478.00£4,893.20147%
1991£16,582.80£11,564.80£5,018.00143%
1992£17,685.20£12,537.20£5,148.00141%
1993£18,382.00£13,135.20£5,246.80140%
1994£18,829.20£13,598.00£5,231.20138%
1995£19,479.20£14,029.60£5,449.60139%
1996£20,363.20£14,716.00£5,647.20138%
1997£21,678.80£15,693.60£5,985.20138%
1998£22,874.80£16,432.00£6,442.80139%
1999£23,670.40£17,258.80£6,411.60137%
2000£24,627.20£17,981.60£6,645.60137%
2001£26,041.60£19,151.60£6,890.00136%
2002£27,341.60£20,186.40£7,155.20135%
2003£28,173.60£20,909.20£7,264.40135%
2004£28,626.00£21,730.80£6,895.20132%
2005£29,645.20£22,703.20£6,942.00131%
2006£30,799.60£23,441.60£7,358.00131%
2007£31,616.00£24,174.80£7,441.20131%
2008£33,134.40£25,266.80£7,867.60131%
2009£33,576.40£26,114.40£7,462.00129%
2010£34,164.00£26,764.40£7,399.60128%
2011£34,382.40£26,863.20£7,519.20128%
2012£34,512.40£27,346.80£7,165.60126%
2013£35,354.80£27,768.00£7,586.80127%
2014£35,214.40£28,106.00£7,108.40125%
2015£35,536.80£28,449.20£7,087.60125%
2016£36,524.80£29,291.60£7,233.20125%
2017£37,512.80£30,113.20£7,399.60125%

Source: All data sourced from ONS

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

2018-07-01T23:52:59+00:00
Close
ENQUIRE NOW - CLICK HERE