In Brief

Women 'earn £300,000 less than men over working life'

Disparity is evidence of 'financial price paid after having children', says Fawcett Society

Working women in the UK are likely to be paid £300,000 less than men over the course of their career, according to new analysis released to mark International Women's Day.

Figures compiled by recruitment firm Robert Half show a gap of £5,732, or 24 per cent, in average full-time annual salaries between women and men. More than four decades after the Equal Pay Act was introduced, the latest figures reveal the gender pay gap remains a very real fact of life in Britain, says The Guardian.

The Fawcett Society, which campaigns for women's rights, said the analysis was only the latest evidence of "a financial price paid by many women after having children" and called for more shared parental leave to close the UK's "stubborn" pay gap. "The impact of having children means that as men's careers take off, women's often stagnate or decline," the society added.

Under new rules that came into force last April, women can now effectively share their maternity leave with their partner. 

But some reckon the rules do not go far enough and that women still take the bulk of the time out, which has consequences for their pay and leaves them lagging behind male peers even when doing a comparable job. In countries such as Sweden, parents can share up to 16 months' of leave, with three months set aside specifically for men, to promote gender equality.

The drag on women's careers can also be seen in the number that make it into executive roles. According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, 26 per cent of board roles in the UK are taken up by women, compared to 44 per cent in first-placed Iceland.

This is still better than the average, though, and beats the likes of Germany (25 per cent), the US (19 per cent), Ireland (13 per cent) and Japan (three per cent).

2015_Sta

Separately yesterday, The Times revealed that female workers in Nicky Morgan's equalities office are paid almost £2 an hour less than men. Morgan (pictured above) had previously promised to "name and shame" firms that do not pay both sexes equally.

Elsewhere, research released yesterday showed the UK has climbed from 21st to 16th in the "women in work" league table compiled by the consultants PwC. Iceland, Norway and Sweden topped the table for a fourth consecutive year.

Infographic by www.statista.com for TheWeek.co.uk.

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