Most Brits have the wrong idea of what the gender pay gap is


The gender pay gap is the difference between men’s and women’s average earnings across an organisation or industry or country. The government has recently taken action to try and close it by making it a legal requirement for companies with 250 or more employees to publish their gender pay gap.

But despite the increased focus on the measure a new YouGov survey reveals that most Brits don’t actually know what the gender pay gap is.

Most Brits mix up equal pay and the gender pay gap

Asked whether they thought the gender pay gap was “women as a whole being paid less on average than men as a whole” or “women being paid less than men for doing the same job”, only 30% correctly chose the former option. By contrast, close to two thirds (64%) incorrectly chose the latter answer, which is specifically about equal pay (in this the failure to do so).

A further 1% answered “something else” and the remaining 5% answered “don’t know”.

This is despite the fact that 90% of Brits say they have heard of the gender pay gap, and 83% saying they believe they understand “very well” or “quite well” what the gender pay gap is.

Of those who have heard of the gender pay gap, only 31% chose the right answer. Likewise among those who said they thought they understood the term “very well” only 33% chose the right answer, as did 31% of those thinking they understood the term “quite well”.