The gender pay gap more than trebles when women reach their 30s, according to a new TUC report.
The Closing the Gender Pay Gap study found that adult women in all age groups earned less than men of the same age.
The sharpest increase in the gender pay gap occurs when women reach their 30s. The difference between men’s and women’s full-time earnings rises from 3.3% for women aged 22-29, to 11.2% for women aged 30-39.
Several causes are cited for this gap, including the concentration of women in low-paid jobs such as childcare and cleaning, the undervaluing of women’s skills and the ’employment penalty’ for mothers.
TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said: “We all expect our wages to increase as our careers progress. But women’s wages start to stagnate as early as their 30s and many are paying an unacceptable penalty simply for having children.
“Despite girls outperforming boys at school and at university, too many employers are still failing to make use of women’s skills. This waste of talent isn’t just hurting their take home pay, it’s harming the UK economy too,” he said.