Head of Communications explains why the gender pay gap is based more on political agenda than truth on the Spectator's Coffee House blog.
Today the Prime Minister has set out to ‘end the gender pay gap in a generation’. It would be an ambitious goal, if a wage gap actually existed. According to the latest ONS figures, women between the ages of 22 – 29 earn 1.1 per cent more on average than their male counterparts and women between the ages of 30-39 are also earning more.
And it doesn’t stop there. There’s evidence that when men and women follow the same career path in the UK, women tend to out-earn and out-perform men. There is growing evidence that if you control for similar backgrounds, women actually tend to get more aggressively promoted than men by their employers.
This alleged gap that the Prime Minister refers to is actually indicative of personal lifestyle decisions, not employer discrimination. While women who choose to stay on rigorous career paths usually find themselves rewarded, many women choose to take more flexible jobs and/or years out of work to focus on different – but equally important – parts of life, like raising a family. Naturally a drastic change in working hours, work-place responsibilities and shift of focus will have an impact on one’s salary.