Monthly Archives: January 2008


Sometimes clearing up your desk uncovers important facts. Today a March 8th 2006 Independent newspaper was uncovered by a colleague in the Foresight group. The front cover “This Is Your Life (If you are a woman)” was in honour of International Women’s Day.

The following statistics (still topical in 2008) were included:

  • 70% of the 1.2 billion people living in poverty are women and children
  • 67% of all illiterate adults are women
  • 85, girls worldwide are unable to attend school compared with 45m boys
  • In the US 35% of layers are women but just 5% are partners
  • Women in full-time jobs earn an average 17% less than British men
  • 62% of unpaid family workers are female

The Women and Work Commission released a report almost two years ago in February 2006 to explain why the pay gap is not only bad for women, but also bad for Britain. Some of the key reasons identified for the pay gap include human capital differences (differences in educational levels and work experience), part-time working (the pay gap between men and women’s part time hourly earnings and men’s full time hourly earnings is large), travel patterns (on average women spend less time commuting than men and this can impact on women’s pay), occupational segregation (women’s employment is highly concentrated in certain occupations and these occupations are often the lowest paid), workplace segregation (high concentrations of female employees are associated with relatively low pay at the level of individual workplaces). Other reasons included job grading practices, appraisal systems, reward systems and retention measures, wage-setting practices and discrimination. The UK government is currently trying to addres the Pay Gap by improving the skill levels of current workers and by helping companies to optimize their female workforce.

For more stats the original Independent article can be found here.

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