While the United States deals with its own gender pay gap, the UK must also address the issue of women getting paid less than men. A recent study explored how the UK gender pay gap changes depending on factors such as age and hours worked. It compares their process to lining up a hundred men and a hundred women next to each other, according to hourly wage, then polling the man and woman in the middle. When all those participants are full-time workers, the median woman receives 9.1% less than the median man – which is £1.32 (or $1.70) per hour.
Full Time Versus Part Time
While not all workers are affected by the pay gap, it is felt more strongly in certain demographics. The gap narrows as the paycheck decreases. For strictly part-time jobs, women tend to earn even more than men – they earn 5.1% more, or 45 pence/$0.61. (This is known as a “negative gender pay gap” since the percentage goes in the other direction.) However, the average part-time job pays £4.82 ($6.53) less than a full time job. And most part-time workers are women. Out of all women working, 41% of them take on part-time jobs. Only 13% of employed men work part-time.
The pay gap becomes wider for full-time workers. As previously stated, the pay gap shifts and men earn 9.1% more. This widens even further when the amount of overtime hours worked is taken into account. Men are much more likely to work overtime. When combing full-time and part-time employees, then adding paid overtime, women earn 18.9% (or £2.61/$3.54) less than men.
The big picture changes again when age is added into the mix. The pay gap most affects those in their 40s and 50s, with a gap of about 14% for full-time women 40 to 40 and 16% for full-time women 50 to 59. Younger women in their 20s and 30s deal with a much smaller pay gap at around 3%. The pay gap widens again as workers retire, since part-time senior women earn 10% less than male counterparts.
Story in the Statistics
What’s the story behond all these numbers? Motherhood is a major element, since many women take time off or switch to part-time when they have children. This trend continues until the family’s first child is twelve-years-old. Education comes into play as highly-educated women tend to continue working the same hours after having a child. Also, there is no definite answer to explain why the pay gap exists before parenthood.
On a brighter note, the pay gap appears to be decreasing. Full-time workers saw an 8.3% decline from 1997 to 2017, with a 9.1% drop for all workers.