I was pleased with the announcement from the Office for National Statistics that the gender pay gap is now at its lowest level since records began in 1997. The difference now stands at 9.4% in April 2014, compared with 1997 when it was 17.4%. It has fallen sharply in the last year. The gap is the narrowest at the ages of 22 to 29, and this is especially heartening news as we look for progress in achieving more equality in the future.
This is another step in the right direction, but we must not be complacent. Equal pay for equal work is a principle that is so obviously correct, but we still see an imbalance in our economy. It is suggested that better paid, more flexible, part-time work opportunities, and better paid leave for fathers to encourage more equal parenting could cut the gap further, and I agree that more flexibility in the jobs market can only be a good thing.
These figure show that we have come a long way, but there is still a way to go.