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The gender pay gap continues to distort career paths

New analysis using figures from the Office of National Statistics has shown that the gender pay gap continues to widen, despite increasing pressure for transparency from large companies. In 2015 women in the UK take home, on average, over £5,700 less than their male counterparts.

The research, carried out by the recruitment consultancy Robert Half UK, revealed that gross annual earnings for women grew 1.4% between 2014 and 2015, compared with 1.6 % for men. This slower rate of growth raises concerns that the "stubborn" pay gap is still not shrinking.

For International Women's Day, the agency called for all employees, regardless of gender, to be rewarded fairly and equally for their work. Recent research by the World Economic Forum has predicted that full gender parity would not be in place until at least 2133, but the latest indicators suggest it could take even longer.

Katy Tanner, director of Rober

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Half UK, said: "International Women's Day provided a platform to highlight the importance of rewarding all employees fairly on the basis of their contribution to the organisation, rather than their gender or indeed any other point of difference." She added, "Given men have on average higher salaries to begin with, the absolute difference is magnified still further."

Women are likely to earn £300,000 less than male colleagues over their lifetimes, with a 24% deficit that takes a woman's pay packet well below the national annual average. Figures show that the median gross pay for full-time male employees in the UK last year was £29,934, but for women it was £24,202. This is a shortfall of £5,732, or 24%.

When the divide is projected over a career of 52 years, it means a lifetime earnings of £1,556,568 for men, but just 1,258,504 for women - almost a £300,000 difference.

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