Women in their 20s on a middle-income wage are now paid more than their male equivalents – but at higher wages and older ages women are still losing out, according to an Office of National Statistics report.
The ONS found half of women aged between 22 and 29 earned more than £9.55 per hour in April this year.
Slightly less than half of men in the same age bracket earned this amount.
However, the top 10% of men in their 20s were paid at least £17.23 per hour, while a woman in the same age group in the top 10% could be on 74p per hour less.
Women also faced lower wages at the ages where they were most likely to have children and in older generations.
The gender pay gap for the average worker overall was 12.6%, down from 13% last year and 18% in 1997. The average pay gap remained static from last year at 17.1%.
Equal Opportunities Commission chair Jenny Watson said women were still losing out too much in the pay stakes.
“The pay gap, sadly, isn’t closing fast enough,” she told the Financial Times.
“[We need new laws] if we are to tackle this stubborn inequality and speed up the pace of change.”