Out of Office - Women's Equality

Saturday 10th November is Equal Pay Day, which marks the moment which women effectively stop being paid until the end of the year.

The gender pay gap in the UK currently stands at 17.9%. 

We don’t think men's work should be valued more highly than women's - so why should we be working? We’re asking women across the UK to set their Out of Offices on Friday 9th November as a sign to the world that they won’t stand for this any longer.

In 2017, our Out of Office campaign reached over 1.2bn people, calling for real action on the gender pay gap. This year we want it to be even bigger. To take part, simply copy and paste the below into your Out of Office on Friday 9th November:

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 the average woman is working for free until the end of the year. So, if women aren’t getting paid, why should they work?

The pay gap on average is 17.9% but for some women it’s even worse. If like me and the Women’s Equality Party, you think it’s not ok, you can help show your support by copying this message and switching on your Out Of Office too.

Follow the link below to see what you can do to help close the gap.


#OutOfOffice for #EqualPayDay @WEP_UK


Why does the pay gap exist?

The work women do, the industries they work in, and the caring responsibilities they generally shoulder are not valued by our society – not enough to pay them a fair wage. This is exactly what the Women’s Equality Party seeks to overturn.

We represent the women who are being paid unfairly and often not being paid at all – either for their domestic labour or care duties - or because they have been fired for getting pregnant.

Equal pay is both a cause and consequence of gender inequality and it creates the context for other inequalities, such as violence against women and girls and unequal access to health.

Though Equal Pay Day focuses on the full-time pay gap, WE always focus on the aggregate pay gap because it tells you more about the balance of power in our society.

The gap is even bigger for some women. For example, Black African women face a pay gap of 24%, while for Pakistani and Bangladeshi women it stands at 26.2%. Or women in their fifties, who face a pay gap of 26.6%. As for women with disabilities, it's impossible to know for sure as the data available is limited. What there is tends to compare disabled women with able bodied women, but does not scratch the surface of how this stacks up with able bodied men.

It’s time to change this. Set your out of office and make the world aware that this injustice has to end.


Women's stories 

An NHS Midwife:
Laura Godfrey Isaacs: “As a midwife working in the NHS I will be Out of Office from November 10th in protest against unequal pay in all sectors, but particularly healthcare. Women make up over 77% of NHS staff, however 22% of men are doctors or dentists with only 5% women. A midwife earns only £19.21 per hour, which is 34% below the national average, however, we have one of the most responsible jobs in society looking after women and babies throughout the childbearing continuum. Midwifery is overwhelmingly a female profession, with only 0.3% male midwives, and alongside most of the caring professions our pay is low and our work undervalued.

A PHD Student at the University of Manchester:
Sarika Paul: "I work as a PhD Researcher at the University of Manchester. The pay gap across the institution is 17.1%. This means that for the duration of November and December, the women of Manchester University are effectively working for free - and this is before you begin to consider race or age or sexuality (or any other protected characteristic). The proportion of women entering post grad study remains largely gender balanced, though there are differences across subjects. This then means that there are systematic factors at play that result in the loss of women from high status academic roles, and the resulting pay gap seen across all staff members. It is crucial that both the university, and the academic world globally looks at ways of minimising these barriers to ensure that we don't lose talent along the "leaky pipeline" that so many treat as inevitable. This is why I am hanging up my labcoat for the rest of the year this Equal Pay Day.

*The Women’s Equality Party encourages anyone taking part in the campaign to discuss it with the management in their workplace. With the disadvantages the women face in the workplace already we don’t want to give any employers any excuses to isolate their women employees. Please use your discretion when taking part.


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Published and promoted by Hannah Peaker on behalf of the Women's Equality Party
at Unit 3, 2 Tunstall Road, Brixton, SW9 8BN.

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