Fawcett research on women, low pay and gender equality in the emerging recovery

Research released in August 2014 by the Fawcett Society shows that women – and especially those on low pay – are firmly shut out of the recovery.

The report, The changing labour market 2: women, low pay and gender equality in the emerging recovery, includes analysis of national employment data and a survey of 1,003 low paid women. Key findings include:

  • Since the start of the crisis in 2008, almost a million (826,000) extra women have moved into types of work that are typically low paid and insecure. Since 2008, female under-employment has nearly doubled (to 789,000) and an additional 371,000 women have moved into self-employment, which is typically very low paid. 1 in 8 low paid women now describe themselves as on a zero hours contract.
  • The increasing levels of women in low paid work, along with the declining value of low pay, is contributing to the widening inequality gap between women and men. Last year the gender pay gap increased for the first time in five years and now stands at 19.1 per cent for all employees
  • Low paid women are feeling the cost of living crisis sharply: nearly 1 in 2 say they feel worse off now than five years ago; nearly 1 in 10 have obtained a loan from a pay day lender in the last twelve months; nearly 1 in 12 low paid women with children have obtained food from a food bank in the past twelve months