The gender pay gap 'needs to close'A recent report has revealed that the pay gap between men and women has narrowed in the last ten years, however, one sector commentator has called for this progress to be sped up.

According to the National Equality Panel, in terms of median net income, women saw a rise from 53 per cent up to of 64 per cent of the median income for men between the periods of 1995-1997 and 2006-2008.

However, it also found there has been no reversal of the widening of the gap witnessed in the 1980s.

Commenting on the findings, Tatjana Hine, vice-president of the World Association of Women Entrepreneurs, said progress needed to be made at a faster rate, although she acknowledged that women work differently to men, with many females not wishing to work as many hours.

“If there were as many women wishing to go into the City, for instance, the pay gap would be smaller due to higher wages,” she added.

Ms Hine noted the UK is “still lagging” and that the gender pay gap is still reasonable wide, which could lead to accusations of discrimination.

According to labour market figures from the Office of National Statistics, the gender pay gap narrowed between 2008 and 2009. For full-time employees, the pay gap is 12.2 per cent, down from 12.6 per cent in 2008.