The UK's Office for National Statistics (ONS) has revealed that the national gender pay gap is now 18.1%.
Published in the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings, this record-low amount is a decrease of 9.4% in comparison with 27.5% recorded in 1997 when the survey began.
UK Minister for Women and Equalities Justine Greening said: “It is fantastic to see we now have the lowest gender pay gap on record. No woman should be held back just because of her gender.
“The changes we’ve made so that men and women can share their parental leave, the support we’re giving to get more women into the top jobs at our biggest companies, and our drive to get more girls taking STEM subjects at school are all helping to reduce this gap."
However, the electricity, gas, steam, and air-conditioning supply sector has a gender pay gap of 28.1%, 10% above the national average.
Greening added: “We’ve achieved amazing things but there’s more to do, that’s why we are pushing ahead with plans to require businesses to publish their gender pay and gender bonus gap for the first time ever from April next year.”
This new initiative will help the government to address barriers preventing women from reaching top positions in their careers.
The survey report also suggests that the benefits of helping women unlock their talents are huge and addressing this issue in the UK could add £150bn to our annual GDP in 2025.