What is it?
Equal Pay Day is the point of the year in which full-time working women begin to ‘work for free’ in comparison to their male counterparts whose pay is represented by the full calendar year. This date is based on the current gender pay gap, which currently rests at 13.9%*. (This divide rises to 18.1%* when part-time workers are also taken into account.)
For the 50 remaining days in the year, women are effectively working for free.
When was Equal Pay Day last year?
Last year the gender pay gap was reported at 14.5%, making the 2015 Equal Pay Day fall a day earlier on the 9th of November. It’s important to recognise that progess has been made, but the work will continue to go on until the gap disappears entirely.
What about the Equal Pay Act?
The Equal Pay Act came into effect in 1970, legislating that women have a right to equal pay when it comes to equal work and work of equal value. Although equal pay and gender gap are different, the two are usually tied together.
At the current rate of progress, equal pay won’t truly come to fruition until 2069, however, others believe it may take more than 170 years before it happens.
What’s holding us back?
There are a variety of factors that are preventing the gender pay gap closing entirely; it’s difficult to attribute it to just one. Women are still fighting for recognition, along with battling gender stereotypes and changing social constructs from ‘the way it’s always been done’.
Women make 86.1p for every pound a man makes, for the same work. Hopefully the awareness this campaign brings will help the cause so that we will no longer have to have an Equal Pay Day.
*the Fawcett Society