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Equal Pay

Question for Department for Education

UIN HL7185, tabled on 22 July 2020

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made, if any, of the research from University College London, published on 20 July, which suggests that teenage boys have more ambitious aims regarding higher education which contributes towards the gender pay gap.

Answered on

4 August 2020

The government is committed to transforming the lives of children and young people so that they can go as far as their hard work and talent will take them, regardless of their background or where they live. Nowhere is this more important than in how our young people are educated and prepared for a successful future. This is why the government has set out an ambitious agenda and made record investments in opportunities for all young people in this country.

The government wants to ensure that all post-16 students can make an informed choice between high-quality options that support progression, whatever their attainment or aspirations. This includes access to higher education so that university places are available to those who are qualified by ability and attainment to pursue them and who wish to do so, alongside other high-quality options such as further education and apprenticeships. Through the Careers Strategy, we have laid out foundations which aim to develop children’s ambitions. Careers guidance is vital in helping to develop talent and opportunities so that people have the skills that we need and that employers require.

In 2017, we introduced regulations requiring large employers to publish the differences in average salaries and bonuses for men and women. The national gender pay gap is at a record low of 17.3% - down from 17.8% in 2018. The full-time gender gap is at a near record low of 8.9%.

We continue to encourage employers to take action to provide equal opportunities for men and women in the workplace but also recognise that employers are facing unprecedented uncertainty and pressure due to the COVID-19 outbreak.