HomeResources11+ Crucial UK Gender Pay Gap Statistics to Know in 2022

11+ Crucial UK Gender Pay Gap Statistics to Know in 2022

Last updated 28th Nov 2022
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Our generation takes pride in supporting equality between the genders, but are today’s female workers really equal to men?! The gender pay gap statistics for the UK indicate some progress towards equality, however, that progress might just be too slow.

Even though the Equality Act in the UK only came into force in April 2017, historical data provides insight into the pay difference for as long as 20 years. Relevant findings suggest that the wage difference between male and female workers was considerably higher in 1997, with a 27.5% wage gap between the two genders.

Let’s check out the latest numbers and see how much the pay distribution has improved in the last 25 years.

Top 10 Gender Pay Gap Statistics for the UK

  • The wage gap between all male and female employees in the UK was 15.4% at the end of 2021.

  • 78% of the employers in the UK report that they pay their male workers a higher median hourly wage than their female ones.

  • 35% of British female workers were employed part-time as of April 2021.

  • The gender pay gap for part-time employees in the public sector in the UK is 20%.

  • The gender pay gap for administrative and secretarial occupations is 21.9%.

  • British men in the finance and insurance sector earn 32.2% more than British women.

  • The accommodation and food services industry has the narrowest gender pay gap of 0.7% in the UK.

  • Northern Ireland is the only region in the UK where women earn more than men, with a 4.1% gender pay gap in their favor.

  • The difference in pay between male and female workers from the 90th percentile is 16.1%.

  • 28% of all female employees work in occupations where the median hourly pay is less than the 25th percentile of the overall distribution.

General UK Gender Pay Gap Statistics

The wage gap between all male and female employees in the UK was 15.4% at the end of 2021.

The above figure shows that the wage gap has widened by 0.5 percentage points from the 14.9% in 2020, which was an all-time low. Furthermore, the gender pay gap for full-time employees is currently at 7.9%, which is up by 0.9 percentage points since 2020, when it was 7%. At the same time, the gender wage gap for part-time employees, which traditionally favors women, has decreased by 0.8 percentage points, from -3.5% in 2022 to -2.7% in 2021.

(ONS)

The gender pay gap for part-time employees in the public sector in the UK is 20%.

Female workers account for 86% of the part-time public workforce in the country, and yet they earn 20% less than men. Women are also the majority of part-time workers in the private sector, with a 68% share, where the gender pay gap is negligible at 0.1%. UK government gender pay gap statistics also show that women comprise 57% of the full-time public workers and earn 12% less than the male full-time public employees. In the private sector, on the other hand, female workers account for only a third, or 33%, of the entire full-time employees and earn 13% lower wages than male full-time workers.

(Parliament)

78% of the employers in the UK report that they pay their male workers a higher median hourly wage than their female ones.

One of the most concerning gender pay gap UK facts is that only 8% of the employers in the country report paying an equal median hourly wage to their male and female employees. Moreover, the remaining 14% report paying a higher median hourly wage to their female workers. The pay difference in median bonus pay is also skewed in favor of the male workers, as 68% of employees report paying bigger bonuses to them. Similar to the median hourly wage, the smallest percentage, or 15%, report paying equal median bonus pay to male and female employees, and 18% report paying higher bonuses to women.

(Parliament)

35% of British female workers were employed part-time as of April 2021.

One of the main reasons for the gender pay gap’s presence in the UK is the fact that more than a third of all female employees in the country are working part-time, and part-time jobs offer lower hourly wages. 9 million British women work full-time, while 4.9 million are hired as part-time employees. In comparison, only 11%, or 1.5 million male British workers work part-time, while the vast majority of them, or 12.5 million, are employed full-time.

(Parliament)

Data on the Gender Pay Gap by Industry

The gender pay gap for administrative and secretarial occupations is 21.9%.

The above category of occupations has the highest pay difference between male and female workers in the UK, followed by caring, leisure, and other service occupations, where the gender pay gap is 16.1%. Furthermore, men in elementary occupations earn 11% more than women, while the gender pay gap for associate professional and technical occupations is 10.9%. The pay gap for managers, directors, and senior officials is 10.2%, for professional occupations, it’s 9.2%, and for process plant and machine operatives, it’s 6.7%. Finally, occupations with the smallest gender wage gap in the UK are those in the skilled trades and sales and customer service categories, with a gender pay gap of 5.8% and 2.9%, respectively.

(ONS)

British men in the finance and insurance sector earn 32.2% more than British women.

While the gender pay gap can be found in every single industry in the UK, the difference in pay is significantly higher in certain industries. Besides finance and insurance, there is also a considerable difference in pay favoring men in the education (25.4%), electricity, gas, steam, and air conditioning supply (24.0%), information and communication (21.9%), and the professional, scientific, and technical (19.9%) sectors. In addition, gender pay gap statistics show that the difference in human health and social work (18.3%) and construction industries (16.6%) is also higher than the average.

(TUC)

The accommodation and food services industry has the narrowest gender pay gap of 0.7% in the UK.

Additionally, the transport and storage and admin and support services sectors also have relatively small wage gaps of 4.6% and 7.3%, according to the latest data. The pay difference in all other industries is higher than 10%. In water supply, sewage, and waste management, it stands at 10.4%, and in the public admin and defense sector, it’s 11.5%. Gender pay gap facts further reveal that women in the arts, entertainment, and recreation industry earn 11.7% less than men, while women in agriculture, forestry, and fishing have 12.3% smaller earnings. Finally, the wage gap in real estate is 12.9%, 14.0% in the motor vehicle industry, and 15.0% in manufacturing.

(TUC)

Gender Pay Gap Demographics

Northern Ireland is the only region in the UK where women earn more than men, with a 4.1% gender pay gap in their favor.

According to the latest statistics on the gender pay gap in the United Kingdom, Scotland has the lowest difference between male and female workers’ earnings at 3.6%. Furthermore, the gender pay gap in Wales is 5%, followed by the North West and North East regions, where the pay gap is 6.9% and 7.3%, respectively. Women earn 9.2% less in the South West, while the gender pay gap is in men’s favor by 9.7% in the East region of the UK. In the West Midlands, the wage gap is 10%, and in Yorkshire and the Humber region, it is slightly higher at 10.1%. The wage gap statistics further reveal that men in the East Midlands region earn 11.1% more than women, and finally, the highest gender difference is recorded in the South East and the London regions, where the gender pay gap is 12.4% in favor of male workers.

(ONS)

British women between 40 and 59 earn 12.3% lower wages than their male counterparts.

The statistics show that the gender pay gap is present across all age brackets, however, it is significantly wider for older employees. Namely, female workers aged between 18 and 21 earn 1% less than males, while the pay gap for employees between 22 and 29 is at its lowest at 0.9%. Furthermore, the UK gender pay gap rises to 3% when it comes to workers between 30 and 39 and reaches 12.3% once it makes the 40-year mark. The pay gap remains at 12.3% for the next two age groups, between 40 and 49 and between 50 and 59, and slightly decreases to 11.9% for employees older than 60.

(ONS)

The difference in pay between male and female workers from the 90th percentile is 16.1%.

The data reveals that the gender pay gap is the widest for the workers with the highest earnings in the UK. However, the current gender pay gap UK statistics also show that the gap for these employees has been steadily decreasing since 2018, when it was 18.4%. Additionally, the pay difference for workers with the lowest earnings, from the 10th percentile, is much lower at 3.1% but still higher than the 1.7% wage gap from 2020. Lastly, the gender pay gap for workers with median earnings is currently at 7.9%, 0.9 percentage points higher than the 7% in 2020.

(ONS)

28% of all female employees work in occupations where the median hourly pay is less than the 25th percentile of the overall distribution.

The gender pay gap in the UK can also be attributed to occupation segregation. In comparison, only 15% of the men work jobs that pay less than the 25th percentile. Additionally, 58% of British women work in occupations where the median hourly pay is lower than the median, while only 45% of the male workers work in such occupations. In contrast, 54% of the men work in occupations that pay more than the median hourly pay, while the share of women working these jobs is significantly lower, at only 43%.

(Parliament)

FAQs on Gender Pay Gap UK Statistics

Why is there a gender pay gap in the UK?

The main cause of the gender pay gap in the United Kingdom is the fact that more women work part-time jobs than men and part-time jobs have a lower hourly median pay.

(ONS)

How big is the gender pay gap in the UK?

According to the most recent gender pay gap data, the average wage gap across all employees in the entire UK is 15.4%.

(TUC)

What industry has the biggest gender pay gap in the UK?

As of April 2022, the finance and insurance sector has the biggest gender pay gap in the United Kingdom, with a 32.2% rate.

(TUC)

The Summary

In summary, there is no denying that the gap is being closed, but even more certainly, it is closing too slowly. Each year between 2011 and 2021, the gender gap decreased by 0.6 percentage points on average, and we mustn’t be happy with that. The gender pay gap statistics for the UK still show considerable inequality in pay between men and women in 2022, meaning there is undoubtedly still a very large room for improvement, and we have a lot to work on before we can say we truly made a change.

Sources:

Hristina Nikolovska

Hristina Nikolovska