Friday 20th November marks equal pay day – the day on which women stop earning relative to men for the rest of the year, due to the gender pay gap.
The Fawcett Society has calculated that the gender pay gap this year sits at 11.5%, down from 13.1% – meaning that Equal Pay Day sits 6 days later than last year. Unfortunately due to the impact of Covid-19, almost a quarter of employers are missing from the dataset due to national and regional lockdowns, meaning that the decrease may not be as substantive as it first appears.
Cllr Naushabah Khan, Medway Labour and Co-operative Group’s Spokesperson for Employment said that, ‘When it comes to gender equality, we have made a lot of progress, but the reality is that there is still a long way to go. The gender pay gap is an injustice that continues to impact women’s role in the workplace and society.
‘And while it is heartening to see improvements in the pay gap nationally this does not give the full picture. Locally we have seen that even Medway Council, as an employer, has also struggled to tackle the pay gap between men and women.
‘Austerity has disproportionality impacted women’s economic status and now the coronavirus pandemic risks creating further inequality. The government needs to take serious action now.’
Cllr Siju Adeoye added that, ‘As someone who has fought against the gender pay gap in the workplace, I welcome the reduction – but there is still a long way to go to ensure parity in the workplace for women.
‘Evidence from the Fawcett Society shows that the coronavirus pandemic means that we are at a generational crossroads for equality for women and equal pay in the workplace. And we are calling on the Government to take action and make our hopes, not fears, a reality.’