A study of the calculation of the UK's gender pay gap - which is 20%, three percent higher than the European average - has indicated that women will technically be working for the rest of the year 'for free', meaning that we've still got a long way to go in the fight for total workplace gender equality.
Of course, women still receive their paycheques the same as their male counterparts, but the wage gap does actually show that as of yesterday (October 16th), men had worked enough to earn the equivalent of a woman's pay after a year of work. Other European countries have been considered, with German women working from October 11th 'for free', with Iceland and Finland faring a little better, with women effectively working with pay until October 30th. The worst of the European countries in terms of gender pay gap, though, is Estonia, where women have been working since September 23rd with technically no pay. Italy and Luxembourg, however, have the smallest gender pay gaps in Europe, with working women in both countries only losing out on two weeks worth of 'paid' work in comparison to their male colleagues.
In a bid to crack down on unequal wages between men and women, a law was passed in UK parliament earlier in the year that means all companies with at least 250 employees must publish their gender pay figures by April 2018, which should be able to highlight where wages are distributed in a discriminatory fashion.
“This study brings the devastating effects of the gender pay gap into clear focus. It is absolutely astonishing that in the 21st century women are still suffering such financial penalties merely because of their gender,” senior researcher at Expert Market, Adelle Kehoe, said. “I hope this report encourages women across Europe to continue to campaign for gender equality in the workplace and in society as a whole.”
Kehoe's colleague and researcher Grace Garland added: “For women to know that the man sitting next to them doing the same job could be getting the equivalent of over two more months pay is frankly insulting and an embarrassment to the UK.”
It's amazing how, when laid out and put into perspective, issues such as gender inequality surfaces in countries that we previously thought were more ahead of the times, the UK included.