Women ‘earn £1,111 more than men’ in their 20s

Women are still playing catch-up with men in reaching senior positions
Women are still playing catch-up with men in reaching senior positions

The gender pay gap has been reversed for women in their 20s but female salaries remain overtaken by men in later life.

Data compiled by the Press Association showed that, between the age of 22 and 29, a woman will typically earn £1,111 more than male counterparts.

Using data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), PA analysed male and female earnings between 2006 and 2013.

While younger women in their 20s came out top in the earning stakes, the story was vastly different for workers in their 30s.

A man turning 30 in 2006 would have brought in on average £8,775 more than a woman of the same age.

Ann Pickering, HR director at O2, said there was a long way to go to achieving genuine parity between women and men.

“While women are earning slightly more than men in their 20s, they are still overtaken later in life - and the reason is simple.

“Women are playing catch-up when it comes to reaching senior well-paid positions,” she said.

“If women are not in the same roles as men, how can they be on the same wage?

“The slight salary imbalance in favour of women early on in their careers is particularly interesting - and makes that ‘drop-off’ point in women’s careers and salaries all the more stark.

Sam Smethers, CEO of the Fawcett Society, which campaigns for gender equality, suggested more senior roles would go to women if they were offered on a part time, or job share, basis.

“Unless there is good reason not to do so, that should be a company’s default thinking,” she said.

“Sadly the opposite is true: once you get to certain level it’s a full-time role, which excludes many women from roles they would be perfectly capable of doing.”