UK Gender Pay Gap

Government Equalities Office

November 17
16:01 2016

What is the Gender Pay Gap?

The gender pay gap is an equality measure that shows the difference in average earnings between women and men.

The UK gender pay gap is at its lowest level ever - just over 18 per cent.

The gender pay gap does not show differences in pay for comparable jobs. Unequal pay for men and women has been illegal for 45 years.

What are the causes of the Gender Pay Gap?

The causes of the gender pay gap are complex and overlapping:

A higher proportion of women choose occupations that offer less financial reward (e.g. administration). Many high paying sectors are disproportionately made up of male workers (e.g. information and communications technology).

A much higher proportion of women work part-time, and part-time workers earn less than their full-time counterparts on average.

Women are still less likely to progress up the career ladder into high paying senior roles.

What is Government doing about the Gender Pay Gap?

The government is taking action by:

Requiring large employers, including the public sector, to publish their gender pay gap and gender bonus gap;

Offering 30 hours of free childcare for working families with 3 and 4 year-olds; and

Encouraging girls to consider a wider range of careers, including in those higher paying sectors traditionally dominated by men.

The government has already:

Extended the right to request flexible working to all employees;

Introduced shared parental leave; and

Commissioned a review to look at how we can remove the barriers preventing women getting to the top of their careers.

Related Articles


  1. We don't have any comments for this article yet. Why not join in and start a discussion.

Write a Comment

Your name:
Your email:

Post my comment

Recent Comments

Follow Us on Twitter

Share This

Enjoyed this? Why not share it with others if you've found it useful by using one of the tools below: