The gender pay gap for full-time workers is entirely in favour of men for all occupations, but those occupations with a better gender balance have the smallest gap, according to a report by the Office for National Statistics.
The report, Understanding the gender pay gap in the UK, says that in 2017, men on average were paid £1.32 more per hour than women, which, as a proportion of men’s pay, is a pay gap of 9.1%.
The report shows that the type of occupation men and women are in is the biggest factor in explaining the pay gap, accounting for 23% of the difference between hourly pay. The ONS also points out how pay varies according to job role: for those in the top-earning roles, men are paid more than women. Male chief executives and senior officials earn almost four times more than men in the lowest-paid occupation group (elementary occupations) whilst for women this figure is 3.5 times more.
The report says the gender pay gap remains small at younger ages for full-time workers, but from age 40 onwards it widens, reaching its peak between ages 50 to 59 as the results of career breaks after childbirth kick in. Moreover, in 2017 women’s pay grew at a lesser rate than men’s as they got older and also stopped growing at a younger age. The report says that women are paid on average 3.8 per cent more than men in the first year of a job, but after five years the gender gap shifts in favour of men.
A man who works in the same organisation can expect to earn a 20.8 per cent rise over that period, when other factors such as role are discounted, with the equivalent figure for women standing at 17.5 per cent.
There was also a gap between rise in earnings for women and men who had stayed in one organisation for many years: while men who have worked for over 20 years in the same organisation earn 20.8% more compared with those men who worked for no longer than one year, for women, the increase was 17.5%.