Women have so much to look forward to. Millennial women can look forward to making less and less than their male counterparts or, if their of an older generation, they can look forward to watching millennials make less and less than their male counterparts.
According to Reuters, a new report from the Office for National Statistics by the Resolution Foundation in the U.K. contains both good news and bad news for the fresh batch of ladies getting stiffed by their employers. While the gender pay gap was on average around 16 percent for the baby boomers, it’s dropped to as low as 5 percent for those born between 1981 and 2000. Hurray! Unfortunately, it doesn’t last. Booo.
The Guardian reports that the gap sharply widens when women hit their 30s. So, basically, as Millennials age up, they can expect to make 30 percent less than their man counterparts, partly because of the old specter of of baby-making and family-raising, with its accompanying time off.
But the report’s author, Laura Gardiner, wants to focus on the upbeat stuff. From the Guardian:
“It’s important to not overlook the positives. The rate of progress between generations is really welcome, particularly with Generation X. Even in the child-rearing years there’s still really big gains.”
But she said there were many issues related to working part-time, such as missing out on informal chats in the pub, that needed to be tackled. “I wouldn’t want to play down the policy success we’ve had, but the area where there’s probably the most we could do is around the part-time penalties, and the opportunities for promotion and progression, the cultural stuff,” Gardiner said.
Much like in the U.S., the cost of childcare remains an issue that the U.K. is grappling with, though a government spokeswoman told the Guardian that beginning in September working parents of children ages 3-4 will be given 30 hours of free childcare in an attempt to make it possible for women to return to work. That’s double the previous allotment, but likely not enough to cover the costs for most, leaving women to pay the price as usual.