Lovewell’s logic: Resolving to overcome gender pay inequality

Debbie Lovewell-Tuck

Happy New Year!

No doubt this week, you’ll have seen countless emails and press articles about the key things you need to be aware of and/or focusing on during 2017. One item that has been on every such list I’ve seen has been the need to begin preparing for the introduction of gender pay reporting in readiness for this coming into effect from April 2018.

This has coincided with the publication of research by the Resolution Foundation, based on analysis of Office of National Statistics’ data as part of the Resolution Foundation’s Intergenerational Commission, which found that the gender pay gap has closed slightly for every successive generation of women since those born between 1911 and 1925.

But, while this is encouraging, the fact remains that a significant gap still exists. According to the research, at the age of 30, the gender pay gap stood at 21% for the baby boomer generation, at 10% for generation X, and 9% for millennials.

However, this follows smaller gender pay gaps experienced by female employees across all generations during their 20s.

The rise in the gender pay gap as women age has been attributed to the impact of having children. This may partly be due to individuals taking time out to raise a family or because female employees may not experience the same level of career progression as male colleagues, for example, as a result of factors such as moving to part-time working after starting a family.

But although such changes to female employees’ working arrangements are often relatively short-term, it appears that the widening gender pay gap is never resolved at subsequent stages of their careers.

So, as working fathers are increasingly given greater flexibility around parental leave and childcare, what more can be done to help lessen the impact of raising a family on female employees’ pay?

Effecting change on such an entrenched issue will continue to be a slow process but every step in the right direction can only be a positive move.

Debbie Lovewell-Tuck
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