November 21 ,2014 | by Thiago Kiwi

Women close pay gap on men at work to a record low

Women close pay gap on men

Data shows women in Britain narrowed the gender pay gap to a record low, while female representation in the board room has increased.

Gender equality has come into the headlines recently in the UK. While women’s rights in Britain have a long history of being fought for, we can see that today complete equality has yet to be won in the boardroom or the office.

Many organisations are still fighting an uphill battle. However, times are changing and research shows conditions are improving, making it a good time to be a UK woman in the workplace.

Women in UK aged 22 to 39 now earn more than men

Regardless of where you live, UK or abroad, women remain less well paid than men. November 7th marked the date after which the gender pay gap meant that, for the rest of the year, women essentially worked for free.

Slightly more positive news came recently as data from the Office for National Statistics showed that women from the age of 22 to 39 earn more than men. However, men still take home the lion’s share of earnings as, despite falling to a record low, the overall gender pay gap is 9.4 per cent.

The largest disparity is seen in the 50 to 59 age range, where men earn 18 per cent more than women.

More female directors now on big UK firms’ boards

It is more warming to hear that in the boardroom, female representation increased to 29.6 per cent from 23 per cent a year ago, according to the 2014 UK Board Index by Spencer Stuart.

“Diversity remains a key consideration,” it says in the report.

Meanwhile, women comprised a third of new non-executives appointed in the past year and only five companies had no women on their boards whatsoever.

The proportion of women on executive committees gently rose to 15.8 per cent in 2014, up from 13 per cent two years ago. The Spencer Stuart report highlights that a struggle to attain equality remains, when “the proportion of women among non-executives is twice as high as the proportion of women in the senior executive ranks of the companies they oversee”.

“This does not bode well for the pipeline of future board directors”, it adds.

Iceland tops Gender Gap Index 2014

Searching for the best place to live in the world for a woman is a pretty tough undertaking, as there are a huge number of factors to consider.

However, the World Economic Forum’s Gender Gap Index strives to take on this challenge and results show Iceland has retained the top spot for the fifth consecutive year, showing women living in Iceland enjoy a more equal lifestyle alongside men.

The index uses four key areas to assess the levels of inequality, these areas being health, education, economy and politics, but as it admits itself, “no single measure can capture the complete situation”.

As a comparison, the UK drops down to 26th position overall, meaning women living in Britain have been experiencing more inequality compared with 2010, when we were 15th, and much more than in 2006 when the UK was in 9th position on the index.

Thiago Kiwi

Thiago is the LSBF Blog Editor who manages news and features content on the site, and writes about business, finance, technology, education and careers.

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