UK gender gap widens, according to new report

The pay gap between men and women in the workplace has widened and the UK has dropped out of the top 20 countries for gender equality.

The pay gap between men and women in the workplace has widened and the UK has dropped out of the top 20 countries for gender equality, according to a new report by the World Economic Forum (WEF).

According to the research, the UK has fallen from 18th to 26th place in the rankings of the Global Gender Gap Report, recording its lowest overall score since 2008.

The countries which scored best in the research were Iceland, Finland, Norway and Sweden, in that order.

The UK’s lower position this year was blamed on a lower score in economic participation, which measures the ratios of women in the workforce, wage equality and the number of women in senior roles.

Commenting on the research, the WEF said:

“[In the economic participation subsets the UK] appears to remain some way off, with the country ranking 48th in terms of both labour force participation and wage equality and 66th for estimated earned income.

“Unlike many of its peers, it has still yet to close its educational attainment and health and survival gaps (ranking 32 and 94 respectively), while it does moderately better in the fourth area we measure, political empowerment, where it ranks 33rd.”

While the UK failed to register in the top 20 in any of the report’s four categories – economy, education, health and politics – a number of middle-income and developing countries finished above the UK, including Rwanda, Nicaragua and the Philippines.

Lead author of the WEF report Saadia Zahidi said:

“Much of the progress on gender equality over the last 10 years has come from more women entering politics and the workforce. While more women and more men have joined the workforce over the last decade, more women than men entered the labour force in 49 countries.”

Meanwhile, a BBC Sport study into prize money has found that 30 per cent of sports reward men more highly than women. Of 35 sports that paid prize money, 25 paid equally and 10 did not.

Like this article? Sign up to Left Foot Forward's weekday email for the latest progressive news and comment - and support campaigning journalism by making a donation today.