The Women and Equalities Committee have launched an inquiry to inform government strategy on reducing the gender pay gap. Highlighting issues for women in the over 40 age bracket, sourcing solutions to close the gender pay gap more effectively and over all improve the position of women in this category within the workplace.
Maria Miller, chair of The Women and Equalities Committee, said: “The gender pay gap is mainly a problem for women over 40, and currently hits women in their 50s even harder. However, the measures already announced by the government don’t target this group. Our inquiry aims to fill this gap in government thinking…[it] will make recommendations that will tackle the gender pay gap where it hits the hardest.”
Government policies to address the gender pay gap include mandatory reporting of the difference between the average pay of male and female staff for organisations with 250 or more employees. This was recently extended to include large employers in the public sector, as well as private and voluntary sector organisations.
ONS data suggests that from the age of 40 onwards, the gender pay gap grows compared to woman aged 18-35, and is evident at its greatest in women in their 50’s. Women over 50 working full-time earn 82% of what men of the same age working full-time earn. Some of this discrepancy is down to occupational segregation. At present, two-thirds of women aged over 50 are employed in just three sectors: education, health and retail. Read more on the inquiry here.