UK women earn 90p for every £1 a man earns, latest pay gap data shows

UK women earn 90p for every £1 a man makes, according to data from the government’s gender pay gap reporting system.

Several high-profile companies reported large gender pay gaps, including budget airline easyJet.

The business’ larger arm – EasyJet Airline Company – shared data exposing that last year women’s median wage was only 36p for every £1 earned by a man.

HSBC Bank was another company where the average male wage was at least double that of female employees.

A spokesperson for easyJet told The Independent that its “gender pay submission does not represent a complete picture because the data in April 2021 included pilots, while the majority of our predominantly female UK cabin crew community remained on furlough”.

The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) revealed that the construction industry has the largest gender median pay gap, with females earning 76p for every £1 earned by a man.

In the financial and insurance sector, the median gap is equivalent to women receiving 88p in comparison to men, whereas women working in information and communication earnt 83p for every pound a man makes.

The closest gaps were found in health and social work activities, with women earning 98p for every £1 a man makes.

Arts, entertainment, and recreation saw women earn 96p, and transportation and storage saw an average of 95p.

Charles Cotton, senior policy adviser for reward and recognition with the CIPD, told Guardian the “figures show that very little has changed when it comes to addressing the gender pay gap in Great Britain”.

I added: “Employers shouldn’t just report the numbers; instead they need to understand the reason for any gap and be transparent about how they plan to tackle it.”

Organizations with 250 or more employees are required to file a gender pay gap report, but the number doing so has failed since the pandemic, from approximately 9,000 to 8,200.

Yet the gap between the average hourly rate for men and women improved a little in comparison to the previous year, from 10.2 per cent to 9.8 per cent in 2021/22.

The pandemic has impacted recent years’ figures, as reporting for 2019/20 was ditched, and last year’s deadline altered from spring to October, to account for business being impacted by the Covid crisis.

The median hourly pay gap rate does not tackle the gap in similar job roles, and some high-level executives and partners, and lower-paid workers, were excluded from the data.

The easyJet spokesperson added: “We have always been clear that our gender pay gap is not a result of unequal pay but of gender balance in our pilot community, which is predominantly male.

“This is a known, industry-wide challenge that will take many years to reverse and one which we have been actively trying to tackle for a number of years.

“As this year’s data includes pilots but significantly fewer predominantly female cabin crew, this year’s submission reports the overall median gender pay gap for included UK employees was 59 per cent and the mean gap was 50 per cent.

“We remain focused on further improving the gender balance, including across senior roles through our succession planning as well as redressing the gender imbalance in the pilot community.”

The spokesperson went on to say that when both larger and smaller arms of the business were combined, the overall median gender pay gap was 41p for every £1, as opposed to 36p.

An HSBC spokesperson said: “We are making progress in improving gender balanced representation at HSBC and are committed to fair pay for all employees regardless of gender or any other characteristic.

“We remain focused on improving diverse representation in particularly senior and highly paid roles, and ensuring HSBC is an inclusive place where everyone has the opportunity to grow.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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