Urgent action needed to tackle gender pay gap

Tuesday 21 February 2017

Urgent action needed to tackle gender pay gap, says Young Women’s Trust

YWTCommenting on the Government’s response to the Women and Equalities Select Committee’s report on the gender pay gap, published today (Tuesday), Young Women’s Trust chief executive Dr Carole Easton OBE said:

“The full-time gender pay gap is still 14 per cent and, at this rate, today’s young women will be retired before equal pay becomes a reality.

“For apprentices, the situation is even worse. Young Women’s Trust research shows that young women apprentices earn 21 per cent less than their male counterparts, leaving them £2,000 a year worse off. Often this is because the sectors women tend to work in – such as administration, health care and retail – are likely to be poorly paid.

“We need urgent action to close the gap. This means supporting women into better-paid, male-dominated sectors like engineering and construction and tackling low pay in women-dominated sectors. We welcome too the Women and Equalities Select Committee’s recommendations to help parents share childcare more equally and support women back into the workforce after taking time out. Without action, today’s young women face a lifetime of unequal pay.”


Notes to editor

  1. Young Women’s Trust supports and represents women aged 16-30 trapped by low or no pay and facing a life of poverty. The charity provides services and runs campaigns to make sure that the talents of young women don't go to waste.
  2. The Women and Equalities Select Committee released its report into the gender pay gap in March 2016. The Government responded to the report in January 2017. The committee has today said that the Government has failed to take on board its recommendations to close the gender pay gap. More information is available here.
  3. The current overall gender pay gap for full time workers is 13.9 per cent.
  4. The Office for National Statistics’ annual survey of hours and earnings shows the pay gap is falling by just 0.2 percentage points a year. If this continues, it will take 47 years to achieve pay parity between men and women.
  5. The gap for apprentices is bigger. There is an hourly gender pay gap among apprentices of £1.03. A young woman apprentice working a 35 hour week would, on average, earn £8,772.40 a year. A young man working the same hours would earn £10,674 a year. This is an annual difference of £1,874.60.
  6. Apprentice hourly pay rates are based on a Young Women’s Trust poll of 1,269 young people conducted by ComRes in 2015 and published in the ‘Making Apprenticeships Work for Young Women’ report in 2016.
  7. Recently-announced government funding for apprenticeships will be focused in STEM sectors, which are male-dominated. This means that, without action to increase women’s representation in these sectors, funding will go to men and not to women, potentially increasing the pay gap.

For more information, see Young Women’s Trust’s report ‘Making Apprenticeships Work for Young Women’, or contact Bex Bailey at bex.bailey@youngwomenstrust.org or on 07963018281.