New Women and Work Commission to address gender pay gap

The Prime
Minister has announced the creation of a Women and Work Commission to examine
the problem of the gender pay gap and other issues affecting women’s
employment.

The Women and
Work Commission will look at

● how
men’s and women’s education and skills affect the jobs they end up in, promotion
and career progression

● women’s
experiences in the job market before and after having children

● different
experiences of women working full-time and part-time

The gender pay
gap currently stands at 18 per cent for full-time workers and 40 per cent for
part-time workers.

Trade and
Industry Secretary and Cabinet Minister for Women Patricia Hewitt said the
gender pay gap had fallen from 30 per cent in the 1970s, but persistent
differences in men and women’s experience of the labour market remain.

"Making
progress on the gender pay gap is a key priority because we have to draw on the
skills and talents of all potential workers – men and women,” she said. “Women
have the right to expect a fair deal in the labour market.”

The Women and
Work Commission will be chaired by Baroness Margaret Prosser and will begin its
work in Autumn 2004, reporting to the Prime Minister within twelve months. It
will make recommendations on what the Government can do to reduce the pay gap
and give women fair opportunities at work.

We will present
more information on this initiative in tomorrow’s edition of Personnel Today
magazine and on PersonnelToday.com.

By
Michael Millar

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