Gender Pay Gap

The government asked the public its views on plans to oblige employers with more than 250 employees to publicly report how much they pay men compared to women. 

Young Women's Trust surveyed almost 170 young women aged 16-30 to find out what they thought about the planned changes.

What is the gender pay gap?


The gender pay gap is the difference in average earnings in the UK between men and women. The gap means that in 2015 a woman will, on average, earn just 80p for every £1 earned by a man. 

The latest figures show that last year women aged 22-29 earned marginally more on average than men of the same age. This is largely due to a fall in young men's wages rather than a rise in women's earnings. Young women are still more likely than young men to be trapped in low pay. The gender pay gap therefore remains a key issue facing many young women today.

What do young women think?

Young women are not only aware of the gender pay gap (94% of respondents to our survey said they already knew that women earn less than men on average) but also have very strong opinions:

They think it is unfair and outdated

It is absolutely shocking that this should ever have been considered acceptable, let alone in 2015

Lucy, Not in Education, Employment or Training

It is unfair and out of date- why hasn't it been fixed yet?

Sarah, in employment

It's the 1800s isn't it?

Natasha, 20, in education 

They want employers to take responsibility

I would also like employers to stop discouraging conversations about pay

Emily, 22, in employment

They want to the Government to take action

Publicly acknowledging the difference will be the first will make the issue more relatable and increase public awareness and outrage at the injustice

Anon, in education

They are ready to take action themselves

  • 76% of young women agreed that they were more likely to buy from a business with a small or non-existent gender pay gap
  • 80% said they would look at gender pay data as part of their job search
  • Two thirds of young women would think about doing different sorts of jobs if they knew more about the gender pay differences

What  does Young Women's Trust want to happen?

  • The government should require businesses to publish gender pay gap data annually according to a standard format
  • Companies should publish the pay gap data broken down by both gender and age 
  • The government must also make provisions for enforcement to ensure companies comply with the regulations
  • The government should seek to extend the requirement to all businesses by offering support to small business to publish their own gender pay gap data
  • The government should seek to further investigate the causes of young women's low pay and take steps to address this issue


Read our consultation response

Download the results of our survey