Drive for gender pay equality 'going backwards'

India plunged 21 places in World Economic Forum’s annual gender report

Where comparisons are not helpful (i.e. outlier salaries), the Equal Pay Day campaign includes them; but where comparisons are much more helpful - and paint a positive picture for women in the workplace - they are omitted from the briefing.

Fawcett claims it uses the mean to take "into account the fact that more men than women are earning higher wages at the top". The groups call for "significant action from Government, businesses and society".

In 2016, the United Kingdom dropped from the 18th position to the 20th in the World Economic Forum's annual Global Gender Gap Report, due to a slight drop in female representation in politics and business.

Now has created a PR stunt that aims to drive conversation around the Gender Pay Gap and the work that the Women's Equality Party is doing to help make the need for an annual "Equal Pay Day" redundant.

Ms Bacik recently launched a Gender Pay Gap Information Bill in the Seanad which she says is "part of the new momentum" seeking to end discrimination between men and women in the workplace. The gender pay gap now stands at 14.1%, that's the same as it was in 2015 and 2016. London still has the biggest gap at 20.7% but it has at least reduced by 3 percentage points.

The pay gap for women in their 20s has grown from 1.1% in 2011 to 5.5% this year, it says. There is a huge generational gap included in this, as the gap for women in their 30s (6.7%) is vastly smaller than for women in their 40s (17.1%). But even without a thorough breakdown of evidence, young women in the United Kingdom have every reason to believe that they will receive equal pay; the gender pay gap from women aged 22-39 is negligible.

Not even the official figures from the ONS are making like-for-like comparisons; job, education, background, and work experience are not controlled for in the pay gap figures. This can in no way be used to gauge whether women are receiving equal pay for equal work.

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They also list unequal care responsibilities as a factor, citing ECHR research which suggests 54,000 mothers a year are forced to leave work early as a result of pregnancy.

With all the intelligence we have in the world, the gender pay gap is a solvable - and should be a solved - problem.

What Can Be Done?

What we can all do is start talking about pay.

The government is also encouraging companies to publish an "action plan" alongside their figures, outlining steps they will take to close the gender pay gap within their organisation.

'We represent the women who are being paid unfairly and often not being paid at all - either for their domestic labour or care duties - or because they have been fired for getting pregnant.

We see fairly sizeable regional variations as well. This inequality carries through to later life, as women's retirement prospects are generally worse than men's.

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