Women paid less than men in 90 per cent of sectors

18 November 2015

A new report realised today by the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES) shows that women in full time work are paid less than men in 90 per cent of sectors, with those working in financial and insurance sectors among the worst affected.

The report Opportunities and outcomes in education and work: Gender effects, looks at how gender shapes a range of education and employment outcomes. It discovers that males are paid on average 19 per cent more than females in almost all fields of work.

Women in financial and insurance sectors, as well as other professional roles are hit the most, with some earning almost 40 per cent less than men.

Dr Vicki Belt, Assistant Director of UKCES said:

“This research brings home the bleak reality of gender inequality at work in the UK. In spite of women’s real achievements in education, the gender pay gap stubbornly remains.”

“Our research shows that occupational segregation is a key factor at play here. Women are under-represented in a range of sectors and occupations that offer higher paying roles – for example fewer than 10 per cent of British engineers are female.”

These findings come just a week after Equal Pay Day on 9th November, which highlight the point in the year at which women are effectively working for free as a consequence of the gender pay gap.

The report also finds that:

Nearly a third more women than men go on to study at degree level in the UK, with almost 300,000 women becoming graduates in 2014 compared to 205,000 men.

In some sectors the ratio of male to female workers has increased dramatically over the past decade. In computer science, for example, men now outnumber women almost 5 to 1 – a 40 per cent increase from 2005/6.

Although there has been an increase in female participation in apprenticeships, there are still big gender divides – for example, for every female apprentice in the construction sector, there are 60 male.

From 2005/6 to 2013/14 the number of women taking Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) degrees rose by just 2 per cent, while take up for men across the same period grew by 24 per cent.

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