The UK’s Gender Pay Gap extends to 14.5%

The UK’s gender pay gap has extended to 14.5%, dropping them from 13th to 17th ranking in PwC’s Women In Work Index, the largest annual fall of rankings experienced by any OECD country this year.

The report has shown that women are facing a ‘pay penalty’, earning only 90p compared to an equally qualified man earning a £1.

At the current rate of progress, it will take 43 years to close the gender pay gap in the UK, which overall worsens the economy and prolongs the mission to reach gender equality in tech.

If women no longer faced a gender pay penalty, the total increase in earnings in the UK could be up to £55 billion every year.

It could also encourage women to rejoin the workforce, with a 5% increase in the total number of women in employment could boost UK GDP by up to £125 billion every year.

The UK’s gender pay gap increased from 14.3% in 2021 to 14.5% in 2022 and is higher than the OECD average of 13.5%

The report, which assesses progress made towards achieving gender equality at work across 33 OECD countries, also finds that the UK’s gender pay gap has widened by 0.2 percentage points, making it higher than the OECD average and more than half the other 32 countries assessed on the Index.

Sheila Flavell CBE, Chief Operating Officer for FDM Group, commented: “It is disheartening to see the gender pay gap widening across industry and highlights that many businesses across all sectors are falling behind the curve when it comes to fair and equal pay. Providing equal opportunities in the workplace encompasses job opportunities, training, support and guidance, but fair pay is a driving factor for many employees and a widening gap will only drive more women away from important sectors like technology. Wellbeing and safety have a huge importance in the workplace and creating a supportive atmosphere to attract and retain female talent, through means such as narrowing the gender pay gap, should be a core priority across all organisations.”

The report finds that, even after accounting for a range of pay-determining factors, the pay disparity between women and men in the UK still persists with women earning almost a tenth less than men on average. 

Businesses addressing the key issues of why women aren’t working in the tech sector can help foster a more inclusive and gender-balanced environment in tech.

Joanna Kori, Head of People at Encompass Corporation, said: “The subject of diversity, which can mean something different to every person, is one that is rightly front of mind for businesses across industries. However, when it comes to gender diversity, equality, and specifically the gender pay gap, the work is far from over. In fact, the latest PwC research is a huge concern for the UK workforce and highlights a lack of awareness, understanding, and tangible positive action.

“Particularly in the technology industry today, there is still much to do when it comes to championing and improving representation, diversity, and inclusion. For too long, taking the issue of gender as an example, this has been a male-dominated area, which has lost out on the talent and perspectives that many women have to offer. This is, quite simply, because there has not been enough of a focus on helping women see and believe that tech can offer a positive, fulfilling career that welcomes them and meets their professional and personal needs.

“A widening gender pay gap will do nothing to encourage women - whether they be recent graduates starting out on their path, already on a career trajectory, or thinking of change. Businesses must therefore take responsibility for prioritising equality, diversity, and inclusion, with solid outcomes that contribute to wider change and progress. This is key to bringing through the leaders of tomorrow and avoiding a detrimental impact on the scope of the talent pipeline for the next generation of the UK’s workforce.”

This comes as the Motherhood Penalty campaign recently revealed that nearly 40% of women in tech leave their role due to care responsibilities.

With research showing that work life balance was ranked the most important consideration for working parents, its tech organisations responsibility to implement change to retain female workers.