A new report from The Institute of Fiscal Studies has shown that women with children face a widening gender pay gap.

The study found that in the 12 years following childbirth, women’s pay typically lags 33% behind that of men.

As always, there’s been a LOT of hoopla on social media since the findings were reported, with some dismissing the pay gap as a myth and a natural result of mothers opting to work part-time.

With the average hourly pay for women being 18% less than men, there’s no denying that the gender pay gap remains a huge cause for concern.

But what about when it comes to digital roles?

The IFS report directly backs up findings from our Career and Salary Survey.

In terms of digital specialists, our research discovered that on average men are receiving £8,202 more than women – resulting in a pay gap of 17.7%. 

What’s more, there is a difference of 18.1% within general marketing roles, with men being paid an average salary of £8,273 more than women.

So what can we do about it?

Vinne Schifferstein Vidal, Global Digital Category Director at Pearson suggests that, while it’s important for changes to be made, a more equal footing will ultimately benefit organisations as much as individuals.

Teams (and therefore companies) thrive by having a mixed set of people, and that’s gender but also skill-set, culture and nationality.

In terms of government involvement, Vinne suggests that it’s not necessary, highlighting the fact that the gap is already smaller than it was 10 years ago.

I think it’s up to companies, as well as both males and females themselves, to figure it out.

Out of the next generation that’s coming into the workplace, females are earning more than males. So, it is already changing, and we just need to keep at it. 

It is certainly true that the pay gap has lessened – it was 28% in 1993 and 23% in 2003.

And while the IFS suggests that this is due to better conditions for lower-paid women rather than advancements for women in higher roles – a new wave of girls studying STEM subjects could be a factor.

Where science, technology, engineering and maths were once seen as typically male subjects (leading to male-dominated careers like graphic design and web development), youngsters are now realising that this doesn't have to be the case.

With non-profit organisations like Girls Who Code on a mission to close the gender gap in technology, progress is being made. 

Meanwhile, the statistic that male managers are 40% more likely to be promoted over females is a sobering reminder that a lot more work needs to be done.

Watch Vinne's answers in full:

Click here to view more interviews in our Digital Smarts series.

Nikki Gilliland

Published 26 August, 2016 by Nikki Gilliland @ Econsultancy

Nikki is a Writer at Econsultancy. You can follow her on Twitter or connect via LinkedIn.

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