On this page you will find information about research into equal pay and the gender pay gap. The studies are presented roughly in chronological order, with the current research appearing first.

Historically there has been a huge amount of research into the gender pay gap, most of which can be found on-line, but with the 2017 introduction of gender pay gap reporting the situation is changing rapidly, and much of the previously published research will be out of date.

Commons Briefing on the gender pay gap

In December 2017 the House of Commons issued a briefing paper on the gender pay gap. The paper provides statistics on the size of the gender pay gap in the UK, looks at some of the reasons why the gender pay gap arises and discusses the duty on large employers to report on the size of the gender pay gap in their workforce. You can find the briefing here.

Gender pay gap: employers’ action and understanding

This research, carried out for the Government Equalities Office by  OMB Research, looks at how employers understand the gender pay gap and what actions they are taking to close it.  The study aimed to provide a baseline measure of large employers’ understanding of the GPG and the transparency regulations, and the actions they are taking to close their GPG.

You can read the report here.

Gender Pay Gap by Ethnicity in Britain – Briefing from the Fawcett Society

Research from the Fawcett Society has again shown that the gender pay gap in Britain is shaped by racial inequality, with women Women from different ethnic groups face different gender pay gaps. This briefing looks at pay data from the 1990s until the 2010s. Over that time most ethnic minority women have seen their incomes rise, both on their own terms and in comparison to men’s incomes. While gender and racial inequality remain major problems in the British economy we have made progress, though large ethnic gender pay gaps remain. Women from almost every minority ethnic group experience a pay gap with White British men. That full-time pay gap can range from a reversed gender pay gap of -5.6 per cent for Chinese women in Great Britain to 19.6 per cent for Black African women.

You can read the briefing here.

Equality and Human Rights Commission reading list

The Equality and Human Rights Commission publishes a list of a selection of key books and journal articles on equal pay and pay gap issues. You can read the list here.

Equality and Human Rights Commission research into the gender pay gap

This research report looks into the gender pay gap in Britain, defined as the difference in average hourly pay between men and women. It explores:

  • the size of the gender page gap
  • the features of the gap and how it varies by characteristics
  • the key causes of the gap

You can find the report here.

Recommendations for what needs to change to tackle the gender pay gap can be found in the Commission’s report: Fair opportunities for all: A strategy for reducing pay gaps in Britain.

The Commission has published companion reports into the disability pay gap and the ethnicity pay gap.

 Measuring and reporting on ethnicity and disability pay gaps

This study is currently being carried out for the Equality and Human Rights Commission by IFF Research. The project seeks to assess what are the most effective ways that employers can measure progress and pay in their workplace for people from ethnic minority groups and disabled people. It will entail a telephone survey of employers, a web-based review of good practice and in-depth telephone interviews and was due to start in December 2017. For further information contact [email protected]


Last updated 9th January 2018