UK women still earn less

The Citizen (Gauteng) - - NEWS -

London – Young women in Bri­tain are paid less and ha­rassed more at work than men, with most re­port­ing that their job neg­a­tively af­fects their men­tal health, a sur­vey found.

Al­most one in five young women sur­veyed in Eng­land and Wales said they were paid less than male col­leagues at a sim­i­lar level, ac­cord­ing to the char­ity Young Women’s Trust, de­spite gov­ern­ment ef­forts to close the gen­der pay gap.

Nearly one in four young women also said they had been sex­u­ally ha­rassed at work, but only one-third of these re­ported it to bosses or hu­man re­sources. Many said they did not know how or feared los­ing their job.

“Sadly, even a hun­dred years af­ter the first women gain­ing the power to vote, it’s still a rich man’s world,” said the trust’s chief ex­ec­u­tive Ca­role Eas­ton. “Young women’s treat­ment at work, pay and well­be­ing are trail­ing far be­hind those of young men.”

Al­though Bri­tain out­lawed sex dis­crim­i­na­tion in the 1970s, women are un­der-rep­re­sented in se­nior po­si­tions and gen­der pay in­equal­ity re­mains a per­sis­tent prob­lem. Men on av­er­age earn 18.4% more than women, ac­cord­ing to gov­ern­ment data pub­lished last year af­ter leg­is­la­tion forc­ing com­pa­nies with more than 250 work­ers, cov­er­ing al­most half of Bri­tain’s work­force, to pub­lish their av­er­age pay gap.

Women were also more likely to be of­fered zero-hours con­tracts and their av­er­age debts have in­creased over the last year, found the sur­vey of more than 4 000 peo­ple aged 18 to 30. Four in 10 women said it was a “real strug­gle” to make their money last to the end of the month, com­pared to three in 10 men in the same age group.

Wor­ries over work were af­fect­ing women’s qual­ity of life, with more than 50% say­ing their job had a neg­a­tive im­pact on their men­tal health, com­pared to about 40% of men. Women had lit­tle hope of swift change, with only half believ­ing gen­der dis­crim­i­na­tion in Bri­tain will be gone by the time they are 40.

“Harassment, dis­crim­i­na­tion, anx­i­ety and debt are facts of life for far too many young women,” Sam Smethers, chief ex­ec­u­tive of the Fawcett So­ci­ety, Bri­tain’s lead­ing women’s rights char­ity, said. “We need to end the misog­yny and harassment and pay and ma­ter­nity dis­crim­i­na­tion.” – Reuters

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