Maggie O’Carroll CEO of women’s enterprise support agency The Women’s Organisation spoke out in response to the news that the gender pay gap now stands at 19.2% and that large companies will have to publish their pay reports in 2018.

The government has revealed its plans for companies with over 250 employees to be ranked in a ‘League Table’ dictating the amounts that they pay their male and female staff, including bonuses, in a bid to draw attention to the gender pay gap which currently stands at 19.2%

Although it is illegal to pay men and women different amounts (and has been since 1974) the figure now stands at 19.2%, as estimated by the Office for National Statistics. This figure illustrates the gap between full and part time workers in the UK and means that a woman is now earning 80p for every £1 earned by her male counterpart.

The Women’s Organisation welcomes the changes announced in government this week that larger firms will be required to report and disclose their employees payments and salaries and believe that now is the time for transparency in regards to the pay gap between men and women, even though it is 45 years since the Equal Pay Act was passed demanding men and women receive the same amount for doing the same jobs.

CEO of The Women’s Organisation, Maggie O’Carroll said; ‘This news is a step in the right direction towards gender equality, but there is still work to be done. There needs to be transparency and it needs to come from these larger companies who have the mechanisms in place to monitor and evaluate their business practices.’

‘Women are still earning 20% less than men every year, which is morally wrong. Exposing this bad practice is an incentive to start addressing this issue, but where is the enforcement and where is the punishment for these companies to be held accountable? We’re not interested in naming and shaming these companies, we want action.’

The Women’s Organisation also believes that the 20% difference between men and women’s pay is morally and economically bankrupting the women of the United Kingdom, and that the 20% could impact our economy and our communities if the women had it to spend.

Maggie O’Carroll said; ‘We think it is time that Britain leads by example in this area and doesn’t just continue with the outdated and redundant practices that in place. We would like to invite the CEO’s and Directors of these companies to think about their own daughters and whether they deserve 20% less than their male counterparts.’