Women are more likely than men to leave jobs because of long commutes, exacerbating the UK gender pay gap, the Office of National Statistics (ONS) has found.
Figures released by the ONS indicate that women whose commute to work is an hour long are 29% more likely to leave their job than women whose commute lasts up to 10 minutes. The same differential does not apply to men, meaning men are more likely than women to take on jobs which offer better pay and career prospects but are further away from their homes: the ONS suggests this is likely due to the fact that women still take on the majority of childcare, household chores and unpaid work. Men’s greater willingness to endure long commutes for increased periods of time appears result in the long term in higher wages and better chances for promotion, contributing to the UK gender pay gap.
Minister for Women and Equalities Amber Rudd said today: “Women across the country struggle to find a balance between being a parent and their job. These statistics show how women are likely sacrificing a larger pay packet and career growth, because they are doing the bulk of childcare and unpaid work; like taking care of elderly relatives and their home. I’m determined that women should be supported by the government and their employer to find that balance. We want to financially empower everyone across the country so they can reach their full potential.”
The ONS statistics follow the launch of the government’s UK gender equality roadmap, which purports to provide cross-sector support for the economic and social empowerment of women ‘from birth to retirement’. The Government Equalities Office has pledged to aid both women and men in balancing work and caring for dependents, with the goal of according women ‘real choice’ both at home and at work.