United Kingdom Prime Minister David Cameron announced a measure last week aimed at making the gender pay gap much more visible. In an effort of transparency, big businesses in the UK will soon be forced to publish the difference in earnings between male and female employees.
“Today I’m announcing a really big move: we will make every single company with 250 employees or more publish the gap between average female earnings and average male earnings,” Cameron wrote in UK newspaper The Times. He hopes that this kind of transparency and emphasis on the gender pay gap will “create the pressure we need for change, and drive women’s wages up.”
Cameron also wrote of tackling other barriers for women in the workforce, including access to affordable childcare and encouraging girls from a young age to enter into careers where women are under-represented.
The gender pay gap in Britain, although better than that of the United States, is still significant, with the average gender gap for all British employees at 20 percent. For full-time workers in Britain, that gap lessens dramatically, with women making 10 percent less than their male counterparts.
In the United States, on the other hand, women still earn an average of 77 cents for every dollar earned by men, and women of color make even less. Black women earn just 64 cents for every dollar earned by white men, and Latinas earn only 54 cents. The pay gap costs women about $434,000 over the course of their careers – impacting the ability of women to provide for their families and care for their loved ones. The pay gap also cuts into women’s Social Security, pensions, and retirement.
Media Resources: The Times UK 7/14/15; Office for National Statistics Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings 2014 Results; Feminist Newswire 4/8/14