Women of the UK, rejoice – as of this past March, your paycheck looks more like that of every Tom, Dick and Harry. Now, you’re making only 20 percent less than your male counterparts!
Okay, so perhaps this isn’t cause for a full-fledged celebration. But to be fair, this is a far cry from the otherwise ridiculously huge gap of the past.
New legislation in the UK makes it so that large companies will be required to report their gender pay discrepancies. These changes are to be implemented over the course of the next year, and affect companies with 250+ employers. All stats regarding full-time and part-time employees is to be reported as well.
In the age of information – pushing the pay gap fully into the public sphere means there’s less guess work. Public wages mean women aren’t left in the dark about what their male counterparts earn – and companies are held accountable in an unprecedented way. This initiative would also call for reporting of the pay grades within a company and the ration of women-to-men in each grade. Even with a diminishing gender pay gap in the UK, this kind of reporting would reveal if senior positions are still dominated by men – information that is invaluable for establishing equality in the workplace.
So, what’s with the wage gap anyway?
For those unfamiliar – the gender pay gap is the difference in average hourly earnings between men and women. CNN Money reports that in 2015 – women in the UK earned 66% of what their male counterparts took home, while women in the US earned 64%. Currently, the US is sitting pretty with a gaping 44% difference in wages.
To employers and corporations alike, the smaller paychecks reinforce an idea that oppresses women everywhere –that, fiscally speaking, women are worth less than men. Equality in the work place is one thing, but the numbers simply do not advocate equality.
The charts below show comparison before the UK’s changes, of the gender pay gap around the world, and the number of days women work completely unpaid per calendar year.
Shaking. My. Head.
Women are already subjected to fiscal discrimination – starting from birth.
As if the wage gap wasn’t enough to disadvantage us as women, we’re also fiscally discriminated against in the consumer market. We take extra hits to our wallets everyday in the form of the Gender tax – also known as the Pink Tax. Items subject to the Pink Tax are marketed at way higher prices for women than men (big surprise). That includes clothing, hygiene products, and…basically everything else under the sun.
The New York Department of Consumer Affairs found that, compared to boys, parents of infant girls should expect to spend 7% more on toys and accessories and 4% more on clothing. And later in life, women will spend 8% more on clothing and 13% more (of their earnings that are roughly 2/3 of the average man) on personal care items.
We’re being punished for our very existence.
Women live in a world where they earn less than men, and are charged more for the necessities of life. It is apparent that a systematic financial oppression occurs, and this fiscal inferiority results in a dichotomy that restricts growth.
It’s not a stretch to say that, financially, women have been set up for failure. New legislature that mandates transparency is essential for establishing equality, both within the workplace, and the world.
But hey, at least the UK is making strides to reverse this.
This is definitely a step in the right direction. They say you get what you pay for… and we’re well worth it.