Equal Pay Day: Ten reasons why today is important for lesser-paid female employees

Campaigners in London, 1954, before the Equal Pay Act 1970 was passed

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The Independent Online

Today is Equal Pay Day, the date from which women effectively "work for free" for the rest of the year because of the gender pay gap. These statistics demonstrate just how bad the situation is:

1. Incomes of British females fell by £2,700 on average over the past 12 months.

2. Seven in 10 women earn less than the UK average salary of £32,300 while this is the case for six in 10 men.

3. A quarter of women in full-time work earn less than the living wage compared to a sixth of men.

4. Women working full-time earn on average £5,200 less than men per year and Equal Pay Day marks the point at which women effectively continue working but stop earning in relation to male workers' salaries.

5. One in six women found out during their careers that men were being paid more than them for the same job, but only one third felt like they could successfully challenge it.

6. Men have double the chances of earning more than £50,000 per year than women who work the same amount of hours.

7. Only one in 15 women earn more than £50,000 per year compared to one in seven men.

8. There is a 31 per cent gap (the widest in any industry) between men and women working in the health sector with male employees being paid over £16,000 more for comparable work.

9. Despite outnumbering their male counterparts, full-time female solicitors earn over £10,000 a year less than men on average.

10. Part-time working women earn 34 per cent per hour less than full-time men who do comparable jobs, without overtime.

Source: The Fawcett Society and Trade Union Congress.