Despite the Equal Pay Act 45 years ago, women still earn less than men in Britain today. 10th November 2016 is Equal Pay Day, the symbolic day which means that women effectively stop earning relative to men. However, in a report by Yell Business and futurist James Wallman, he predicts that the gender pay gap will close by 2045, almost 100 years earlier than the World Economic Forum’s estimation of 2133. The research to support this theory is as follows:
- Data Digitisation
It’s far harder to hide wage disparity in an age of data digitisation, meaning companies are compelled to be transparent, and it’s therefore far easier to compare pay over time and across industries.
- New Legislation
New legislation means that by 2018 all companies with more than 250 employees will have to publish their gender pay gap data. This transparency should encourage the gender pay gap to close sooner than previous predictions.
- Economic Advantage
There are numerous economic imperatives to close the gender pay gap. For example, if the same proportion of women worked in Britain as in Sweden, it would add £170bn to the UK economy and boost GDP by 9%, according to accountancy firm PwC.
The Yell Business report also looks at how there is an emerging shift in our ‘life dynamic’. Unlike previous generations where there were three prominent stages – education, work and retirement – and many people stayed in one job for their entire career, because we’re now living longer there will be seven or eight stages, which will encourage people to become more entrepreneurial. Therefore, one way for women to avoid the gender pay gap before 2045 could be to set up their own business. In doing so, they can determine fair pay scales for their employees and award themselves a fair wage.
Further to this, women prove to be the more frugal sex with 20 per cent of female small business owners saying it cost them nothing to start their own business and less than a year to make a profit, which should be encouraging to the 52 per cent of British females who have considered setting up alone, are in the process of doing so or already have their own business.
Nikki Jacobi, HR Director at Yell said, “Looking back at the past century and the many advances in technology, our digital landscape and medical treatments – it would be fascinating to be around to see what happens during our next 100 years.
“Our landscape is constantly evolving and changing with current trends marking a clear distinction to more women being involved in business over the next few decades. Gender equality is a key element to business success and something we at Yell fully appreciate and support.”
 Lynda Gratton & Andrew Scott, The 100-Year Life: Living and working in an age of longevity (London: Bloomsbury, 2016)
 Yell Business survey with Censuswide February 2016 of 1,500 UK small business owners and 1,500 UK Consumers