Mind the gap!

// 29 August 2007

The Guardian presents some sobering statistics on the pay gap between men and women, finding that it is as wide in the boardroom as lower down.

The only two women heading any of Britain’s top 100 companies saw their total salary last year lag 75% and 25% behind the average paid to their male counterparts, according to the Guardian pay survey. There were 16 women executives at the top level last year – four more than 12 months earlier but still a tiny fraction of a total of 527.

Even Dame Marjorie Scardino, the highest paid female, still earned 25% below the average for FTSE 100 bosses last year.

What The Guardian do not investigate is the reasons for this – whether it is due to direct discrimination, low aspirations, differing levels of education and experience or more likely, a combination of such factors.

The Equal Opportunities Commission however has responded to the figures by emphasising “the need for changes in flexible working”. Whilst this can only be a good thing, I can’t believe that having children is the only reason that women are trapped under the glass ceiling, nor should it be mothers alone who shoulder the burden of having to work part time.

Photo by echotek77, shared under a Creative Commons license

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