Young women are reversing the gender pay gap

3 Oct

Could the next generation of women finally reverse the gender pay gap? It seems they could, given the release of new figures showing that women in their 20s earn more on average per hour than men of the same age.

The figures were discovered by Mary Curnock Cook, chief executive of the Universities and Colleges Admission Service, while she was researching gender equality in education. The amount that women earn more than men is slight – just over £10 an hour, compared with just under £10 an hour for men – but it is the principle that is important.

“The gender pay gap may take another generation to close as the pay feeds through to the more senior workforce,” she said. As more women go to university and boost their earnings potential through their qualifications, it has taken generations for this to impact on women’s salaries – but it looks as though there are some signs of change.

This research tallies with figures from a Chartered Management Institute survey in August, revealing that female junior executives are breaking the gender pay barrier. The challenge is for women to continue to earn high salaries into their 30s and 40s, when maternity leave and childcare are often cited as reasons for blocking women’s progress.

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