Our plan to close the gender pay gap

India plunged 21 places in World Economic Forum’s annual gender report

It said that because the gap was widest for older women, it meant the United Kingdom was actually "going backwards" in its pay parity efforts.

The UK ranks 20th out of 144 countries around the world for closing the gender pay gap, but no country on earth has absolute equality.

Even in 2017, the gender pay gap is so prevalent that from November 10 women are essentially working for free. However, overall, women still earn less than men and there is a definite gender pay gap in this country.

The Fawcett Society has issued the warning about the stark lack of progress ahead of Equal Pay Day today (Fri) - the day in the year when women start to work for free.

It could take over 100 years to close the gender pay gap if progress remains at current levels, a charity has warned. As it happens, Northern Ireland is the only region with a negative pay gap: -3.4 per cent.

And we know that black, Asian and minority ethnic women are likely to see larger pay gaps, suggesting that they are experiencing multiple discrimination and disadvantage.

It's Equal Pay day so, obviously, everyone is talking about the gender pay gap.

With that in mind, the Women's Equality Party are encouraging women to set their out of office alert, reminding people that there is still a lot to be done to close the gender pay gap.

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Why Is There A Pay Gap?

She says employers often say they "respect" women, and champion specific examples of women who are doing well in their organisations but are are "not looking holistically" - at how they are treating all their female employees.

"This will help to address the unequal impact of caring roles which is one of the key drivers of the gap".

What Can Be Done? As we have a national conversation about power imbalances in our work places when it comes to sexual harassment and abuse, there's never been a better time to talk about economic discrimination to ensure we continue to move forwards on all fronts, not back.

At Westminster, we support changing the law to require gender pay gap reporting for all companies with more than 150 employees - down from 250 - and the introduction of sanctions - including fines - for employers that fail to comply with the law.

The Fawcett Society said younger women as well as older female employees were now seeing their pay fall behind that of men, claiming that the drive to equalise pay is "going backwards". This inequality carries through to later life, as women's retirement prospects are generally worse than men's.

Tomorrow's Equal Pay Day is a test of whether the old political parties have been paying attention.

This year, the gender pay gap has been front and centre of everyone's minds, particularly in the wake of the revelation that numerous BBC's woman presenters were paid less than their male colleagues.

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