IOE - Faculty of Education and Society


IOE project examining why the gender wage gap exists receives funding

18 July 2019

A new UCL Institute of Education (IOE) project investigating the gender wage gap over people’s life course has received funding from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).

Two pan beam balance scale. Image: Sepehr Ehsani via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

The project, which launches in September 2019, will use data from the Centre for Longitudinal Studies’ birth cohort studies to provide a comprehensive analysis of the gender wage gap across individuals’ lives, as well as across different generations and ages.

The gender wage gap is the difference between how much working men and women are paid. Nearly half a century after the Equal Pay Act, women still earn less than men and their pay is only catching up very slowly.

The gap grows with family formation, as mothers spend time out of the labour market and face lower pay than previously on returning to employment, particularly those in part-time work.

The project hopes to use the data to provide new insights into wage formation, how the gender wage gap evolved, and what will be needed to create pay equality. It aims to examine what the gender wage gap looks like over the life of individuals and generations and how different the wage gap looks over the life-course for men and women with similar qualifications and workplace experience.

The team will also explore what role parenthood and caring responsibilities play in the emergence of the gender wage gap, what role childhood experiences play in determining the gap and how much of the gap is due to men and women’s different occupations.

‘The Gender Wage Gap: evidence from the cohort studies’ is led by Principal Investigator Professor Alex Bryson with Professor Heather Joshi and David Wilkinson as co-investigators.