Northern Ireland closing gender pay gap faster than rest of UK

North brings gender pay gap down from 22% in 2000 to 6% in 2017, PwC index shows

Northern Ireland has brought the gender pay gap down from 22 per cent in 2000 to 6 per cent in 2017. Photograph: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Northern Ireland has brought the gender pay gap down from 22 per cent in 2000 to 6 per cent in 2017. Photograph: Getty Images/iStockphoto

 

Northern Ireland is closing the gender pay gap faster than any other part of the United Kingdom, a new study shows.

According to the latest PwC Women in Work Index, Northern Ireland has brought the gender pay gap down from 22 per cent in 2000 to 6 per cent in 2017 – which is equivalent to an annual average wage increase of £1,902 (€2,131).

One of the reasons for the drop, according to PwC’s research, is that a significant number of women now work in public administration in Northern Ireland, a sector that offers “relatively high pay and a relatively low pay gap”.

The North’s progress comes as the PwC report notes that the UK overall is not moving as fast as some countries to “improve female economic empowerment in the workplace”.

Economic empowerment

Between 2015 and 2016, the UK fell from 14th to 15th place in a ranking of 33 OECD countries based on five key indicators of female economic empowerment: gender pay gap, female labour force participation, the gap between male and female labour force participation, female unemployment and female full-time employment rate.

Nordic countries top the index, with Iceland, Sweden and Norway rated as the three leaders when it comes to creating opportunities for women in the workplace.

The latest PwC index shows that London delivered one of the worst performances across the UK in reducing the pay gap between men and women in the workforce – its pay gap fell from 22 per cent in 2000 to 19 per cent in 2017.