Is Commuting Affecting the Gender Pay Gap?

By Megha Shah - Last Updated on April 11, 2019
Is Commuting Affecting the Gender Pay Gap

The gender pay gap is a cause for concern in almost all industries. It is not something new or unusual and it is not something that people around the world are just waking up to.

While the gender pay gap only recently has been given such a name, people have been going through it for decades. But many people are just now becoming more educated and more aware of it as a key issue in workplace culture, and some are standing up to put an end to this issue.

Many influential personalities are now coming forward in support of equal pay for equal work. But what could be continuing to contribute to the gender pay gap?

According to some reports, commuting may be one of the factors affecting the gender pay gap. Research from the Institute of Fiscal Studies in London, a microeconomic research organization, found a link between commuting and the gender pay gap which suggests that if employees are willing and able to spend longer getting to the office, the payoff could be significant.

The idea is based on comparing two separate sets of data and making some speculations. First, the Office for National Statistics in the United Kingdom found that men on average take longer to get to work than women. The statistics released this month found that men accounted for 65% of commutes lasting an hour or more. Conversely, 55% of short commutes lasting 15 minutes or less were undertaken by women. The IFS researchers referred to the percentage difference in the amount of time that men versus women travel as the “gender commuting gap.”

Researchers and analysts at the IFS are now wondering if it is this commuting gap that has led to the pay gap. Further analysis of the reasons behind the global gender pay gap has highlighted the fact that women and men have parity early in their careers, but starting a family impacts women disproportionately. After starting a family, women start getting paid less than men for practically doing the same amount of work. This means the wages of men continue to rise after they have children, while wages for women rise at a less steep pace and never achieve the same average level.

The IFS, therefore, combined time spent commuting with years since the birth of a person’s first child. They found that having a baby had a huge impact on the gap between women’s and men’s commute times, with women commuting for much less time.

While the IFS continues to look into the ways that commuting can change other policies such as childcare, it stands to reason that longer commutes could be beneficial for those who choose them. With a longer commute, specific to some industries and regions, it could open up a world of more opportunities including higher pay for women.

Megha Shah

Megha Shah | A dreamer, traveler, aspiring entrepreneur and a bookworm beyond repair, Megha Shah is extremely fond of writing and has been doing so since she was a child. Apart from being a part-time writer, Megha is currently in college, pursuing B. Com. (Hons). Megha is an ardent follower of ‘Hardship, Hustle and Heart’ and firmly believes in the power of hard work and destiny!

Megha Shah

Megha Shah | A dreamer, traveler, aspiring entrepreneur and a bookworm beyond repair, Megha Shah is extremely fond of writing and has been doing so since she wa...

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