Deloitte says gender pay gap will take 50 years to close

Research conducted by accountancy firm Deloitte indicates that the gender pay gap will remain until 2069, despite “closing incrementally”, 99 years after the introduction of the 1970 Equal Pay Act.

Currently, for full-time workers, the gender pay gap is 9.4 per cent. According to Deloitte, the pay gap is closing at a rate of just 2.5p each year. However, some occupations are actually seeing a widening in the pay gap, and at the beginning of their careers, female graduates earn less than their male counterparts, in many jobs.

This is even the case in sectors such as teaching and healthcare, where there are many more women than men. In nine out of 10 popular graduate occupations, the starting salary for men is higher than it is for women.

“There are many factors that contribute to the gender pay gap,” said Emma Codd, managing partner for talent at Deloitte.

“One of these occurs before entering the workforce, when boys and girls decide what to study at school and university, starting at GCSE level, where three times more boys than girls take computing and 50 per cent more boys than girls study design and technology.

“These early decisions drive fundamental skill differences between the genders for those entering the workplace. The trend is likely to continue unless it is addressed now.”