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Why The Gender Pay Gap Might Not Close Before You Retire

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Photo: Business Images/REX/Shutterstock.
The UK's gender pay gap will not close until 2069 unless we take greater measures to reduce it, a new report has warned.

Research by leading professional services firm Deloitte has found that the difference in hourly pay between men and women is closing at a rate of just 2.5p a year.

If this doesn't speed up, it will take another 53 years to eradicate the gap completely, by which point the majority of today's workforce will have retired. The current gender pay gap in the UK is 9.4%, the BBC reports, which equates to £1.30 per hour.

The report also warns that in certain areas of employment, such as skilled trades and education, the gender pay gap is actually getting wider.

However, the gap in starting salaries between men and women who have studied Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects, and then take jobs in these fields, is said to be "significantly smaller."

Emma Codd of Deloitte said that encouraging girls to study these subjects at school could be one way of helping to reduce the gender pay gap more quickly.

“We know that the pay gap is far smaller for those women starting their careers in STEM related roles; we also know that high-skilled jobs demanding a blend of cognitive, social and technical skills are typically among the most highly-paid," she said in a Deloitte statement.

"Therefore, if more women study STEM subjects and pursue related careers they will increase their earnings potential in the early years of their working lives and - should they remain in their careers - the later ones. This in turn should serve to reduce the gender pay gap.”

The Deloitte report comes in the same week as new research by charity ActionAid found that young women entering employment today will work far longer than men during their working lives due to unpaid caring responsibilities.
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