Vera Troeger, Professor of Economics at the University of Warwick, comments on the Fawcett Society’s report on the gender pay gap on Equal Pay Day.
She said: “The gender pay gap in developed countries which pride themselves in equality is very worrying and the positive developments in this area have basically stalled. However, most numbers that are presented show the ‘unconditional’ gender pay gap. Some parts of the pay gap can be explained by factors such as career breaks and lower productivity due to child caring responsibilities, as well as women choosing employment in jobs that are more flexible but pay less for family balance reasons, and women being less forward in negotiating pay.
“My own research shows that there is much to gain from better parental leave policies because more generous provisions increase mothers’ productivity and their attachment to the labour market. But the UK government externalises maternity pay to companies. The generosity of the UK statutory maternity pay is one of the lowest in the EU – data shows better maternity provisions could pay for themselves in the long run because they help keep female talent in the labour market and women climbing up the career ladder.”
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