The fight for equal pay – celebrating International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day calls for an end to inequalities between the genders

By Terrileigh Wilkinson

A CAMPAIGNER for equal pay says it is “unbelievable” there is still an 18 per cent pay gap between men and women, on International Women’s Day.

The average annual wage in the UK is £26,500, with men on average being paid £4,770 more than women.

Samantha Webb, 32, is head of communities and content for Sliips, a crowdsourced tool which helps employees to check whether their payslip is fair and fights for equal pay between men and women.

She said: “The idea that women are paid, on average, 18 per cent less than a male colleague for doing the same work is so alien to us that it is literally unbelievable.”

Originally called ‘International Working Woman’s Day’, IWD which is held today (March 9), started in 1990 and is mostly known for the fight for freedom and equality between men and women.

Celebrating the success of women, the theme of IWD for 2017 is ‘be bold for change’.

Last year’s theme ‘pledge for parity’ focused on equality and pay and was supported around the world.

Samantha said Sliips aims to encourage honest and open discussion about pay, and to champion the fight for pay equality.

Ms Webb also believes some people do not seem to register that a gender-based pay gap is actual reality.

“We believe that women in the workplace bring varied and valued skills, experience and strengths, but do not believe they are yet being compensated fairly for their contribution compared to men,” she said.

The World Economic Forum predicts that gender-based pay will not end until 2186.

Hundreds of events are being held across the globe to mark International Woman’s Day, including a ‘Be bold for change’ event at the Old Red Bus Station in Leeds City Centre today.

The event is organised by ‘Leeds Women in Leadership’ and promises an afternoon of empowering female speakers, as well as a confidence and empowerment workshop.

Aimee Francis, society president, said organisers are hoping the event will help to “highlight gender inequality and the step both forward and backwards towards reaching a more equitable society and workplace”.

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