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Gender pay gap reduction call

The next government should set a national target for reducing the gender pay gap, the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has said.

The CBI's Building on Progress paper outlines a series of measures needed to promote gender diversity in the workplace.

Key measures proposed:

  • state funding for a locally-run system to boost employer engagement in career services
  • female participation targets for subjects such as physics in schools, colleges and universities
  • committing businesses to concrete diversity policies
  • government help to promote flexible working to businesses
  • increasing the amount of free childcare provision.

Katja Hall, deputy director general at the CBI, said:

"Currently, too many areas of work - often those with high pay potential - are seen as male-dominated, with women steered away from options that would give them better access to higher pay and seniority.

"This simply has to change. We must focus on tackling the pay gap by providing the right careers advice in schools and boosting support in the workplace for career development.

"A future Government should ensure an overall target for the reduction of the gender pay gap is set at a national level to raise awareness of this issue."

A recent study by Halifax revealed that the average earnings for women increased by 34% in 2013, compared with a 28% increase for men.

However, men still earned a third more than women on average, despite a narrowing of the pay gap.

Anthony Warrington, director of Halifax current accounts, said:

"It's a positive sign that the economic and financial gap between the genders continues to close in many sectors, but in a number of key areas it is still a long way from parity especially in terms of employment and pension income."

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