But women still earn less than men across most professions...
The gap between the pay of men and of women has fallen to an all-time low, according to the Office for National Statistics.
Since 1997, the ‘gender gap‘ between the typical pay of a man and a woman in full time work has fallen to 12.2 per cent – much lower than the 17.4 per cent it stood at in 1997.
The ONS also claim that, since 2008, the gender gap has narrowed for full time and part time work. According to reports in the Independent, women are typically earning more than men in part time jobs – two per cent more, though that is down from a gap high of 3.7 per cent seen last year, that is in favour of female employees.
But taking into account full and part time work, the gender gap still stands at 22 per cent, down on the 22.5 per cent difference recorded in 2008 but marginally up on the all-time low of 21.9 per cent seen in 2007.
There is also some evidence that women’s pay and job opportunities have suffered less badly during the recession than those of men, which again may have narrowed the gap between men and women. The number of men unemployed has increased by almost 50 per cent during the downturn, and the number of women unemployed by 33.4 per cent.
And it seems gender inequality affects women in all kinds of professions. Earlier this year, actress Zoe Wannamaker admitted TV actresses are regularly paid less than their male counterparts.
‘Women are always at the bottom as far as pay is concerned – the equal pay business is a big struggle,’ she told The Stage newspaper. The actress declined a deal to appear in three Harry Potter films because of the ‘terrible’ pay.