Today, 10th November, is Equal Pay Day 2018: the date women in the UK effectively begin working for free until the end of the year.
Equal Pay Day 2018 falls on exactly the same day as it did in 2016 and 2017, reflecting the snail's pace at which the gender pay gap is closing.
According to the Office of National Statistics, the gender pay gap now stands at 8.6% for full-time employees.
Taking into account both full-time and part-time employees, it stands at even more disappointing 17.9%.
On top of this, it has recently been reported that women work an average of 26 hours per week doing unpaid housework – whereas men work an average of just 16 hours per week doing unpaid housework.
Since yesterday, #EqualPayDay has been trending as people tweet to raise awareness of the gender pay gap – and share their frustration that it isn't closing faster.
Check out a selection of tweets below.
Today is #EqualPayDay which has fallen on the same date for 3 years. The Govt has failed to tackle the structural barriers which allow the #GenderPayGap to exist. The next @UKLabour Govt will require all large employers to prove exactly how they will tackle their gender pay gaps. pic.twitter.com/BFfjg2Kkwg— (((Dawn Butler MP))) (@DawnButlerBrent) November 10, 2018
We are #OutOfOffice until 2019.— Virago Press (@ViragoBooks) November 9, 2018
Today is the last day in 2018 women get paid to work because of the gender pay gap. The Gender Pay Gap is on average 17.9% but for some women it’s even worse. The average pay gap for BAME is between 24% and 26%.
Today is #equalpayday and women in the UK are now collectively working for free for the rest of the year. Yes the gender pay gap is comprised of bigger social issues but the question today is why women are not getting equal pay for equal work - time for change @fawcettsociety pic.twitter.com/LbKP4qiGmY— Jess Piper (@j_piper1) November 10, 2018
The government made it mandatory for all companies which employ 250 people or more to report their gender pay gaps by April of this year.
It emerged that men earn more than women in 78% of UK companies. Just 8% of companies reported having no gender pay gap, while 14% of companies pay their female employees more than their male counterparts.
Sam Smethers, chief executive of women's equality charity The Fawcett Society, marked Equal Pay Day 2018 by writing that a significant factor contributing to the gender pay gap is "pay discrimination, which is often hidden and facilitated by a culture of pay secrecy or at least, pay silence".
Smethers continued in a statement: "So let’s get one thing crystal clear. Women have the right to be paid equally if they are doing the same job or work of equal value. But of course, if you don’t know what your male colleagues are earning, how can you possibly challenge it? Your right to equal pay is as good as a chocolate teapot without this basic information.
"So today we are asking you to do one simple thing. Turn to your colleagues and tell them what you earn. Men, if there is one favour you could do for your female colleagues, this is it."
If enough people follow Smethers' advice, Monday could prove to be very interesting indeed.