Equal Pay Day: Women continue to be hit hardest by low wages in the UK

Some two-thirds of workers earning less than the real Living Wage are women – a figure that equates to 3.4 million women and nearly a third of all UK working women, according to research by the Living Wage Foundation.

This trend has been the case since 2011, when KPMG and the Living Wage Foundation launched its annual Living Wage report.

Further research from the Living Wage Foundation has also found that there are serious consequences for working mothers who earn below the real Living Wage, with four in ten (42%) admitting they have skipped meals for financial reasons.

“These figures show that more can be done to reduce the 3.4 million working women earning less than the real Living Wage across the UK. Women make up nearly two thirds of the 5.5 million people in low paid roles, who are feeling the squeeze as inflation rises,” said Living Wage Foundation Director, Katherine Chapman said:

The findings serve to further illustrate the lack of progress on the gender pay gap, something which hasn’t closed in the last three years and which is the focus of Equal Pay Day (today, Friday 10 November). Equal Pay Day is a day of action aimed at highlighting the day of the year where women effectively stop earning relative to men.

“Equal Pay Day highlights the need to keep the conversation going on the realities of the gender pay gap and to encourage more organisations to pay a real Living Wage that will benefit women and part time workers nationwide”, said Living Wage Foundation Director, Katherine Chapman said:

Women’s employment in the UK is highly concentrated in particular industries and occupations, which is a major cause of low pay for women. Research by Cardiff Business School into the gender impact of the Living Wage found that females were more likely to be in part-time jobs (77%), and are more likely than men to work in low paid roles such as general administrative occupations (79.4%), personal assistants (97.7%) and receptionists (89.2%).

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