Another year, another 52 days where women aren’t being paid.
You’ve guessed it, today is one of our least favourite days
of the year; Equal Pay Day!
Equal Pay Day means that from 3:34pm on Friday 10th November 2017 until the end of the year, women effectively stop being paid because of the enduring gender pay gap. So that’s why our campaign slogan this year is…
3:34 – We’re out the door!
Every year at 3:34pm on Equal Pay Day, women, you may as well turn off your computers, put on your out of office, pack up your things and head on home!
Why? Because guess what!? You’re not getting paid for the rest of the year!
Each year Equal Pay Day angers us, but also fires us up, because things must change, and the gender pay gap must close. Despite the Equal Pay Act being passed 47 years ago (!) half of society is at a disadvantage and being paid less for doing the same work.
The mean full-time pay gap currently stands at 14.1%. In other words, women earn just over 85p for every £1 that a man makes. 85p compared to every £1 – Just let that sink in! And this year’s Equal Pay Day comes around only ONE day later than last year, which really does reflect just how slow progress is in reducing the gap.
And, in even worse news, progress in closing this gap has stalled. It hasn’t changed in the last three years and the gap widens if you are an older woman, a BAME woman, if you’re a woman who works in certain sectors or if you’re a woman with higher earnings.
So WHY? Why does this gap persist and exist? We found these fantastic words from Sam Smethers, chief executive of the Fawcett Society, published last year, who said that the work being down by women is constantly undervalued;
“As we mark Equal Pay Day this year we are focussing on the fundamental question of who and what we value and asking why is that we don’t value women and the work they do – paid or unpaid. Equal value goes to the heart of the fight for pay equality, because the reality is that if it is a sector dominated by women the pay will be lower.”
This is reflected in the shocking and sad statistics such as the fact that women make up 80% of care and leisure workers but only 8% of those working in the better paid skilled trades. Women also make up 61% of those earning less than the real living wage set by the Living Wage Foundation.
The statistics and home truths feel like they are shocking and never ending. And it’s certainly a sobering read. You can read the Fawcett Society’s full Gender Pay Gap and Causes Briefing here.
But what can be done? Change needs to be significant and action needs to come from the key areas of; government, businesses and society.
Mandatory gender pay gap reporting is a step in the right direction but there should be the businesses who don’t comply should be held accountable for their actions.
Once again, The Fawcett Society have some strong and needed recommendations for what can be done about the pay gay that you can read about here.
So! On Equal Pay Day, November 10th 2017 – We’re angry!
But realistically we’ll never stop being angry. We’ll keep fighting and keep persisting until gender parity and gender equality is achieved. Until the gender pay gap is closed.