However, not everyone shares this opinion. If I search ‘gender pay gap myth’ on Google, at least eight results come up straight away detailing why the gender pay gap isn’t real, explaining it away on job choices and maternity leave. On the same day that I am writing this, an article has been uploaded to the Heatstreet website, in which one of its female reporters described how, in calling the 10th of October ‘National Equal Pay Day’, “guardianistas . . . continue to distort the waters surrounding gender equality” .
This level of denial is simply unacceptable, as it is so clear that women are still heavily disadvantaged when they go to work. From a social perspective, you only have to scroll through a few submissions categorised under ‘workplace’ on the Everyday Sexism project’s website  to get a sense of how many women find themselves at a disadvantage because of behaviour towards them based on their gender. Less women hold senior positions in companies by quite a significant margin – illustrated by the fact that there are more male CEOs named ‘John’ than there are women CEOs ..
The gender pay gap is also still a very real issue, despite the aforementioned plethora of articles with a variation of arguments to try and prove its non-existence. In a study done by the Office for National Statistics, described by data.gov.uk as “the UK’s largest independent producer of official statistics” , it was revealed that as of April 2016, the gender pay gap for those in full-time employment was 9.4%, and when those in part-time employment were added to the statistics, the gap increased to 18.1% . There is some good news – both of these figures have decreased since 2015, when they were 9.6% and 19.3% respectively – but this does not change the fact that the gender wage gap is not predicted to close in the near future, and estimates of when it will eventually close range from 2058  to 2186 .
The mammoth task of creating gender equality within the workplace is one that cannot be ignored – and creating a fairer gender balance will be economically beneficial, according to a study by McKinsey, who discovered that “the companies in the top quartile for gender diversity were 15 percent more likely to have financial returns that were above their national industry median” . So, what can you do to help?
Whatever your gender is, the same advice applies. Keep pushing boundaries. Keep pushing yourself, to aim high despite limitations imposed on you, or to go out of your way to help empower women in order to continue chipping away at the mountain of inequality women face. The only way we can ever move forward as a society is if everyone makes an effort to make a change.
Jessica Searle is in year 12 and studies history, English literature, maths and French. When she is not talking about feminist issues, Jess enjoys reading and playing the piano.