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27 February 2018

Closing the gender pay gap could increase female earnings by £85 billion

The fifth update of the Women in Work Index provides PWC’s assessment of female economic empowerment across 33 OECD economies. The index is a weighted average of five indicators that reflect female participation in the labour market and equality in the workplace; this year’s report uses the UK as a case study to examine the causes of the gender pay gap.

PWC’s analysis of the UK suggests that job segregation between women and men (women doing some types of jobs and men doing others), both across industries and across occupations is a major cause of the gender pay gap.

The report estimates that closing the gender pay gap could increase women’s annual earnings by £2000-£8000 a year, depending on the region in which they work. The report notes that there is much that businesses and government could do to help in closing the gender pay gap, and comes up with some excellent suggestions, but it makes no mention of reviewing pay practices per se, to ensure that women and men doing equal work receive equal pay. The report does however note that the gender pay gap matters, not only now, but because it has serious implications for a woman’s lifetime earnings and her ability to save for retirement.

You can read the full report here.

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