Women earn £223,000 less than men over the course of a lifetime, according to a Young Women’s Trust analysis released ahead of next week’s gender pay gap reporting deadline.
The charity, which supports young women on low or no pay, analysed Office for National Statistics data and found that the pay gap exists from the moment young women start work. Women aged 22 to 29 can expect to earn on average £1,550 less a year than male colleagues, rising to £7,600 each year when they are in their 50s.
Taking into account the changing gender pay gap in each age bracket, women lose out on £222,913.60 across their lifetime – enough to buy a house in many parts of the UK.
Often this is because women do not reach the senior positions and are more likely to be on low pay, due to caring arrangements, gender stereotypes and discrimination.
Recent gender pay gap reporting shows that the gap is worse in some sectors than others, with banks releasing pay gap figures of up to 60 per cent.
Young Women’s Trust chief executive Dr Carole Easton OBE said:
“We know that many young women are struggling to make ends meet because they are more likely to be on low pay. Discrimination and unequal caring arrangements still prevent them progressing at work and reaching higher salary bands.
“We need to help more women into male-dominated sectors and into senior positions. Helping parents share childcare more equally and supporting women back into the workforce after taking time out through flexible working opportunities would make a big difference, too. And, where companies find they have a gap, there should be a requirement to put in place a plan to close it. Without action, today’s young women face a lifetime of unequal pay.”