Saturday, 11 February 2017

Equality Pay Gap

A question and answer on a 15 marker equality question.

Explain two measures which the government could take to reduce gender pay gap inequality. {15}

The gender pay gap is the gap between what women and men are paid as an average. The gender pay gap was the widest in South-east England and the narrowest in Northern Ireland. The government could take measures to sort this issue out.

One of the ways that the government could reduce the gender pay gap  is by providing subsidies for childcare. This is because many women take breaks from the labour market in order to take care of their children. As a result, those women find it difficult in the future to achieve promotion when re-entering the labour market  as they may be seen as unreliable to the employer, thus bringing the average wage for women down and causing the gender pay gap . Women from 'worse' off backgrounds would prefer to stay at home and take care of their children merely because the opportunity cost is very high if they went to work and paid for childcare in comparison to staying at home. On average childcare for part-time periods can cost in region of £116.77 per week and £217.57 per week on a full-time basis, with the costs of childcare increasing constantly. Therefore if the government were to subsidise childcare then it may reduce the opportunity cost of working vs staying at home, thus making it more easier for women to get promotions in the future resulting in a decrease in the gender pay gap. However this may depend on whether those women use the opportunity given.

Another way that the government could reduce the gender pay gap is by encouraging women to work in higher paying fields such as those involving STEM subjects. This is because 60% of women work in 10 occupations which are often poorly paid jobs such as caring, cashiering, catering, cleaning etc...
Thus increasing the gender pay gap. The government have raised this issue in 2013 and have taken action by funding  STEM organisations to increase the training and educational opportunities provided to women. The government have raised awareness of this issue at the British Science festival and the National Science and Engineering week as well as encouraging Science in school and fund programmes to encourage women to get into STEM industries. As a result of this more women are more likely to work in STEM industries, in turn reducing the gender pay gap.

Overall, I think that a use of both of these actions would reduce the gender pay gap. The reduction in childcare may encourage more women to stay in work or to take shorter maternity leaves thus improving the gender pay gap but once again that depends on whether women take the opportunity. Also the government encouraging women to work in STEM or higher paying industries would also help improve the gender pay gap.


This question got 15/15 marks and is a good example of what you should be aiming for in your writing.
  • Make sure that you use plenty of keywords like in the above essay. 
  • Also use plenty of your own economic knowledge ( examiners love this!!)
  •  Use lots of connectives to structure your work so it flows better.( Avoid words such as also as it can break up your chains of analysis)
  • And refer to the question constantly

I hope that this has been helpful and good luck in any upcoming exams :) !


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