This week Resolution Foundation published its latest analysis on the gender pay gap – the difference of median hourly earnings between men and women as a proportion of men's hourly earnings – revealing that the gap has reduced to less than 5% for millennials. The report includes data from the past 41 years and demonstrates that the gap has narrowed with each generation. However it is also apparent that the gap increases again throughout people's 30s and 40s, which is understood to be because this is when women have children and subsequently "take time out altogether and so lose out on labour market experience".
In a recent Mishcon Thinks film, Employment Partner Jennifer Millins commented on the on-going pay gap issue and speculated why we may be seeing it at its smallest yet: "Boards are now obliged to take notice of the gender pay gap. The Equal Pay Act is many years old and it's done quite a lot to police equality in terms of pay, but the Government is doing more now – such as the gender pay reporting obligations for all employers with more than 250 employees. This is a big change for employers coming in this year, but businesses will have begun looking at their data last year when the regulations were first announced, with boards considering what their gender pay statistics are going to look like when they have to publish them."
It remains to be seen whether the regulations for businesses to routinely publicise pay gap statistics, and the likely reputational fallout from a large pay gap, will reduce the disparity for those women beyond their 20s.
View Jennifer's Mishcon Thinks film on board governance, diversity and equality here.