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Illustration: Getty Images
Illustration: Getty Images

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This is why we’re “Out Of Office” for the rest of the year

We’re setting our email accounts to send out an important message on Equal Pay Day, and you should too

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By Zoë Beaty on

Send anyone at The Pool an email on Friday, and you’ll receive a prompt reply: Out Of Office. Until the end of the year. Yes, really.

No, we’re not giving up. But we are making a point in an attempt to call time on the gender pay gap. November 10 Equal Pay Day – the marker in the year which denotes when women effectively stop earning compared to men, due to chronic and entrenched inequality. On average, women are still earning 18.4 per cent less than the average man – and this gap becomes wider for BAME women, wider for mothers and wider for women in their 40s and 50s. Britain currently has the fifth highest gender pay gap in Europe – higher than Slovakia, Portugal and Switzerland. According to the Fawcett Society, it will take more than 100 years to close the gap at the current rate of change.

It’s tiresome that we must keep on talking about it, and that this disappointing day still arrives on cue each year, despite the Equal Pay Act being over 47 years old, and despite the fact that being paid fairly, irrespective of gender, is a very basic human right. But, still, we are here again. And we want to do everything we can to attempt to make this the last Equal Pay Day we have to acknowledge.

Today is effectively the last day women in the UK are paid to work. Because of the gender pay gap, we’re working for free until the end of the year.

“The gender pay gap is poorly understood and as a consequence not closing fast enough,” Sophie Walker, leader of the Women’s Equality Party, who are launching tomorrow’s campaign, said. “We want women everywhere to see the scale of the problem and join us in sorting it out.”

As Walker says, if we want to make an impact – and a dent in the gender pay gap – it has to be a group effort. So, tomorrow, everyone at The Pool will be setting our email accounts to send this pertinent out of office, in solidarity with the Women’s Equality Party, and with you:

SUBJECT LINE: Out of Office. For the rest of the year.

Not really, I’m just making a point.

Today is effectively the last day women in the UK are paid to work. Because of the gender pay gap, we’re working for free until the end of the year.

So, if women aren’t getting paid, why should we work?

That’s why I’ve switched on my Out Of Office.

This is to raise awareness of the pay gap, which on average is 18.4% but for some women it’s even worse. For example, the average for Black African Women is 24%.

If like me, and the Women’s Equality Party, you think it’s time something changed, you can join in by copying this message and switching on your Out of Office too.

This Equal Pay Day, it’s time to get rid of the pay gap.

#OutOfOffice  @WEP_UK

Join us.

@zoe_beaty

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