With the debate about the gender pay gap in the workplace still rolling on, International Women’s Day is bringing it back into sharp focus. According to PwC’s analysis, women in finance specifically still face the largest pay gap, followed by the energy and utilities sector. In its report on Women Returners, PwC examined the average pay difference between genders across an organisation, rather than comparing different genders doing the same job.

However, these figures are still influenced by external factors such as fewer women bidding for senior positions, resulting in marked under-representation of women in the upper echelons of companies. The reasons for this also link back to the gender pay gap, such as women ultimately having less work experience than their male counterparts – usually due to having taken time off for family obligations and consequently opting for part time work. It seems to be this career break that is strangling the pipeline of women aiming for the top, while also causing the companies to take a hit in their overall gender diversity. In business, a gender-diverse workforce ultimately boosts the bottom line through higher profits – not to mention the increased labour force improving the overall economy caused by women meaningfully extending their careers.

With Theresa May’s newly unveiled budget boost for women who want to return to work but find ‘doors shut’ after a career break, it is time to really accelerate this necessary change with companies aiming to #BeBoldForChange, embracing all the benefits that are waiting to be reaped with a truly diverse and supported workforce.