Photo: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

Gender pay gap rockets by age 40, Stirling researchers find

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Photo: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

A team of Stirling researches has found the gap between the pay received by men and women rockets by the time they reach age 40.

Despite men and women entering the jobs market at a similar level, the gap increases to 10% after a decade, and rockets to 20% by the time they reach 40.

The finding was part of a torrent of new research provided by Professor David Bell and Dr Tanya Wilson of Stirling University, and presented to the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday.

The researchers analysed the pay gap approximation of 30% in 2016 and compared the pay of full-time and part-time workers separately. They found a lower gender pay gap of 18% for full-time workers and a pay gap in favour of women of 14% for part-time workers.

Bell said: “Part-time workers have fewer skills than full-time workers because, on average, they have less work experience and are less qualified. As a consequence, full-time workers are typically paid more than part-timers, and because more men than women work full-time, the overall gender pay gap favours men.”

The study also found, despite education attainment gaps decreasing, women still tend to avoid science, technology, engineering and maths related subjects (STEM).

Despite women making up 49% of the workforce in Scotland, they account for just 7% of Higher Technological Studies students, 20% of Higher Computing candidates and 28% in Higher Physics.

Dr Wilson said: “Many programs are now underway to address the gender imbalance in subject choice, from primary up to university level. If these initiatives work together they may prove vital in improving the subject imbalance, which has a major influence on someone’s earning potential in the future”.

The Scottish Government currently funds the Close the Gap charity, which works with policymakers, employers and employees to influence and enable action to address the causes of women’s inequality at work.

Dr Wilson added: “We believe policy must be directed towards influencing and supporting women around they age they are thinking about having children, as well as those with higher levels of pay, to ensure there’s a significant further reduction in Scotland’s pay gap”.


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