Could The Gender Wage Gap Explain Female Leavers?

  • 29-Aug-2016
Row of women walking away

If your company is experiencing a surge in the number of female employees leaving, it might be worth looking at whether there is a gender wage gap between employees.

According to an Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS) study, funded by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, women with children at least 12 years’ old receive 33 per cent less pay than their male counterparts.

This comes as it is revealed women on average earn 18 per cent less per hour than men, showing a huge drop in pay progression after becoming mothers.

The IFS findings showed this is not to do with a cut in their hourly wages when they return to work, but the fact that they are more likely to opt for part-time or flexible working arrangements. As a result, they miss out on wage progression, resulting in men going on to earn more money as they advance in their careers.

Robert Joyce, associate director at IFS and author of the report, said: “Women in jobs involving fewer hours of work have particularly low hourly wages, and this is because of poor pay progression.”

Interestingly, the gender gap is worse among those who are highly educated, and workers with poor salaries do not experience such a disparity with their wages.

Women who have received a good level of education see their wages fall by four per cent for each year they took out of paid work. This is compared with the two per cent for the average female worker, as lower paid employees have less wage progression to miss out on while absent.

If you want to ensure your female workers continue to feel appreciated in your employment, it is worth sending out Exit Insight’s exit surveys for leaving members of staff. Should any female employees reference a lack of wage progression, this could be something you need to sort out to ensure a higher level of retention for this group of people.