Employers are believed to be missing out on talented female workers, it has been claimed – which could lead to suggestions of discrimination in the UK workplace.
The World Economic Forum’s Corporate Gender Gap Report 2010 has been launched and notes that not enough is being done by corporate businesses to close the gap of gender inequality.
As part of the report, a survey of 600 leading companies across 16 industries in 20 countries explored women’s participation in business and companies’ adherence to gender equality policies.
Saadia Zahidi, co-author of the report and head of the Forum’s Women Leaders and Gender Parity Programme, said the study should sound as an "alarm bell" that the idea more companies have become gender balanced is a "myth".
However, commenting on the report, Steve Williams, head of equality at ACAS, said the issue of the gender pay gap is multi faceted.
He said the divide has arisen not because women are paid less than men purely because they are female, but because of a range of other factors.
"The impact of occupational segregation, the impact of caring responsibilities disproportionately falling on female employees, all have the effect of reducing average female pay rates compared to male," he added.
Mr Williams concluded that progress is being made in narrowing the gender pay gap.
Posted by Hayley Edwards