The World Economics Forum said it will be 117 years before women have the same career prospects as men. However, recent research it has carried out shows that what has changed is that gender equality is not just recognised as a social issue it is now seen as a business issue and that tackling barriers to equality has the potential to unlock new opportunities for growth.
However, specialist recruitment firm Robert Half, analysed statistics from the Office for National Statistics believes that getting parity of pay in the UK could take longer than 117 years based on figures which show that men are likely to earn nearly £300,000 more than women over a lifetime of work.
Robert Half, found that the median gross pay for full-time male employees in 2015 was £29,934 but for women employees it is lower at £24,202, well below the average annual UK earnings of £27,645. This represents a gender pay gap of £5,732, meaning that men earn, on average, 24% more than women every year. When taken over a working career of 52 years, this translates into lifetime earnings of £1,556,568 for men and £1,258,504 for women, creating a £298,064 shortfall in earnings for female employees.
The analysis also revealed that gross annual earnings for women last year grew by just 1.4% between 2014 and 2015 compared to 1.6% for men, which highlights the fact that the gender gap is getting larger rather than closing. Given men have on average higher salaries to begin with, the absolute difference is magnified still further, Robert Half said.