The gender pay gap has halved over the course of a generation, new figures have shown – but only for one group of women.
A study by think tank The Resolution Foundation found the pay gap for millennial women in their 20s has fallen to five per cent. For baby boomers at the same age, the figure was 16 per cent, while for generation X that dropped to nine per cent.
However, the gap begins to close as women progress through their careers and towards having children – jumping to nine per cent for millennials as they hit 30, compared with 21 per cent for baby boomers and 10 per cent for generation X.
The think tank attributed the discrepancy to child-rearing, which it said "carries a sharp and long-lasting pay penalty".
Earlier this year the government introduced new legislation to force large employers to publish details of their average gender pay gaps.
"Successive generations of women have benefited from slow but steady progress in closing the gender pay gap. Young women today face relatively little disadvantage in terms of their pay packets compared to what their parents’ and grandparents’ generation faced," said Laura Gardiner, senior policy analyst at the Resolution Foundation.
“As people continue to live and work for longer, it’s important that businesses, policy makers and civic society continue to focus on closing the gender pay gap at all ages, and for every generation.
“After all, small hourly pay gaps quickly grow into large lifetime pay penalties that can leave women hundreds of thousands of pounds worse off over the course of their careers.”