The gender pay gap has become the subject of national conversation as the true scale of the issue has come to light, in the past year especially. While many companies have pledged to address this issue, there’s still a lot of work to be done.
However, wage inequality is only one of the financial factors which conspire to make it harder for women to make ends meet in their day-to-day lives.
Credit report experts, Credit Angel have found ten reasons why women are forced to make less money go further.
Gender Discrimination Begins In The Interview Room (And Doesn’t End There)
59% of employers believe job applicants should have to admit whether they’re pregnant during the interview process while 46% think it’s okay to ask women if they have any young children.
This has caused a fear of discrimination which leads to 29% of women removing their wedding ring before job interviews in case they’re perceived as ‘settled down’ or likely to start thinking about having children.
These worries aren’t unwarranted as, of the women currently working in STEM industries, 50% have experienced gender discrimination at work.
The ‘Peak Potential’ For Earnings Is Biased Towards Men
The average woman reaches her ‘peak earning power’ at age 34 which equates to £13.19 per hour. Compare this to the average man who ‘peaks’ at 50 at £15.54 per hour and you can see how differences in gender expectations lead to serious wage disparity.
Home Life and Unpaid Working Hours
Work doesn’t stop in the workplace. Household tasks and childcare are classified as ‘unpaid work’ and, unsurprisingly, it’s ladies picking up the slack. The Money Advice Service found that women put in over a day’s worth of extra hours (26hrs) unpaid at home – ten more than the average man.
Childcare Negatively Affects Earnings
Despite all the emphasis placed on the value of a mother’s time with her child, a woman’s potential wage drops by 4% every year she is absent. As women are responsible for almost 75% of overall childcare – this is highly a gender-specific issue.
The Finance Industry Is Predominantly Male-Dominated
Only 20% of senior positions in the financial industry are held by women. This may go some way to explain why only 58% claim to have a solid understanding of financial products and services when compared to 72% of men.
Despite this lack of confidence, research by the Global Financial Literacy Excellence Centre shows that women lead the way in financial literacy in the UK, one of only a few countries where this is the case.
It Takes Longer For Women To Pay Off Student Debts
Due to wage disparity and the range of other factors discussed in this article, it takes women longer (16 years) than men (14 years) to fully pay off their student finances, which leaves them in debt for longer and further diminishes their monthly earnings.
Care Costs Are Higher
By the time they’re 65 the average woman can expect to pay £132,000 for their own care. Compared to the £82,000 men will pay by the same age, it’s a staggering disparity. This is due to women’s longer life expectancies
Divorce Favours Men
Divorced women have, on average, less than 33% of the pension wealth of the average divorced man. As if this isn’t enough, their longer-term income decreases by as much as 10% while men’s often increase.
A Huge Difference In Pension Savings
Women, on average, end their career with half the pension savings of their male colleagues. This is, in part, due to the fact it’s still legal for employers to contribute less to a woman’s pension due to their longer life expectancy.
This means that women end up with £7,500 in defined contribution scheme savings compared to a man’s £14,500.
Even the Pricing of Essentials is Undeniably Sexist
The so-called ‘tampon-tax’ adds 5% VAT onto the price of an essential feminine product that should be exempt. Here’s hoping the government follows through with their plans to scrap this during 2018. As if this isn’t enough, women are often made to pay more than men for directly comparable toiletries and grooming products.
Discover more about how the personal finance game is rigged against women.
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