UK drops six places in global gender pay gap report, according to World Economic Forum

The UK has gone backwards on gender equality - slipping further down the world rankings on the pay gap.

It comes as the World Economic Forum (WEF) is warning it will be 100 years until there is gender equality across the world.

The UK has dropped from 15th place to 21st in the world - making it below other countries including Costa Rica, Albania and Philippines.

WEF said that while 2019 was an improvement on last year’s result, prospects for economic opportunity have worsened in the past 12 months for women at work.

The report looks at how much women are paid and how senior the roles are that women move onto.

ITV News Correspondent Juliet Bremner says: "It is clearly judged that not enough of female politicians in the last parliament went to ministerial or cabinet level."

  • ITV News Correspondent Juliet Bremner explains the significant changes in the World Economic Forum report

The narrowing of the gap was largely down to the improvement in the number of women being represented in politics.

Globally, women now hold 25.2% of parliamentary lower-house seats and 21.2% of ministerial positions, compared to 24.1% and 19% respectively last year.

But the UK has ranked even lower globally in the gender pay gap - the average amount women are paid across a company compared to men - at 58th in the world.

Organisations who monitor Gender Pay say young parents are looked after much better in Nordic countries than in the UK.

Sam Smethers, Chief Executive of The Fawcett Society, says there is no childcare investment like in the Scandinavian countries. Credit: ITV News

Sam Smethers, Chief Executive of The Fawcett Society told ITV News: "We've got a government talking about infrastructure spending but they certainly aren't talking about childcare investment, they're talking about trains and roads."

She added: "We need our care infrastructure too if families are to function in this country and we just don't have it.

"There are big gaps, big holes in provision for parents and carers and particularly that's where those Scandinavian countries perform better."