Widening of gender pay gap in UK shocks equality activists

November 14th, 2007 - 10:24 am ICT by admin  

The reports show that women’s salaries languish way behind their male counterparts - and that female workers suffer from endemic prejudice as soon as they start their careers.

A survey released by the Institute of Directors this week showed that, far from improving, the gender pay gap widens at executive level. Pay for female directors was 22 per cent lower than their male counterparts, the investigation into 1,200 organisations found.

According to The Independent, the research showed that the salary split begins at graduate level, with three times as many male as female graduates earning top salaries within three years of leaving universities.

A report from the Higher Education Statistics Agency showed that three per cent of men would earn 50,000 pounds or more within three years of graduating, compared with one per cent of women. On an average, female graduates would also earn 1,000 pounds less than their male peers in that time.

These results were part of the largest survey yet of graduates’ fates in the workplace, tracking 25,000 students in the three years after they left British universities.

The paper quoted Catherine Benfield, the head of the research project at the Higher Education Statistics Agency, as saying that “Women accept that they may take a job below their expectations and work up from there. Men would rather be unemployed and searching for that perfect job.”

Commenting on the survey, Miles Templeman, the director general of the Institute of Directors, said: “It is wholly unacceptable … that women in comparable positions do not receive the same rewards as their male counterparts.” (ANI)

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