After 50 years of equal pay legislation, the UK’s gender pay gap remains at a stubborn 15.5% and 29,000 equal pay complaints are still brought forward each year.

While gender pay gap reporting was made mandatory in 2018, just publicising the significant gender pay gaps in UK companies hasn’t forced them to take any concrete action to address gender pay inequality.

In particular, companies’ gender pay gap reports almost always assume that they do not have an equal pay issue. This takes the form of blaming historical reasons that women have not been promoted into higher-grade work as the root cause of their gender pay gap, rather than interrogating their pay practices to ensure that women are receiving equal pay for work of equal value.

Our latest report, 50 Years is Long Enough: A Report by The Equality Trust into Unlawful Pay Discrimination, analyses and critiques FTSE 100 gender pay gap reporting and progress and makes recommendations to end unlawful pay discrimination.

50 years is long enough: it’s time to turn up the heat on regulators, businesses and the government to finally address unequal pay. 

What are we striving to achieve?

We are calling on shareholders, trade unions, ethical consumers, regulators and politicians to take immediate action to finally end unlawful gender pay inequality. We are calling for those companies with a significant gender pay gap to eliminate high-risk pay practices, introduce a contractual “right to know” policy and undertake gender pay gap reporting by grade.

Through the #EqualPay50 campaign, we are building a broad-based coalition that can effect lasting change, and undertaking campaigning activity to increase dissatisfaction for the UK’s lack of progress in implementing the equal pay legislation among people of all genders.



This project is funded by the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust.

Campaign updates

Highlights from our Equal Pay conference

In case you missed it, or want to watch it back, the full conference an be found on our YouTube channel.

Listen to our equal pay podcasts

As part of our podcast series Inequality Bites we have created two podcasts on the subject of equal pay:

Equal Pay Month 2020

Each year, the Fawcett Society calculates the day in the year that women effectively “stop earning”, as a result of the gender pay gap. This year, we’re asking our supporters to get active across the whole month of November and make some noise about companies who are failing to ensure fair and equal pay.

Take action: ask the CEO of HSBC to commit to fairer pay practices

With a mean gender pay gap of 55%, HSBC Bank has the highest gender pay gap in the FTSE 100 and one of the highest within the financial sector.

HSBC’s approach to ensuring equal pay appears to be to retroactively make adjustments after unequal pay has been identified. We are asking them to lead the way in building a fair and transparent pay structure that protects women and other minoritised groups from the risk of pay discrimination.

Join us in asking Ian Stuart, CEO of HSBC UK, to take crucial steps to minimise the potential for pay discrimination and ensure that the company can be sure that women working at HSBC receive equal pay for equal work, and invite your friends to do the same.

Campaign victory: a step towards equal pay for workers at Landsec

In July, we asked property development company Landsec to commit to three recommendations on equal pay. While the company asserted that it has a “low-risk approach to pay” (despite advertising jobs without a salary), Landsec did agree to undertake gender pay gap reporting by grade.

As the UK’s largest commercial property development and investment company, with just under 600 employees, this is a huge victory for the #EqualPay50 campaign, giving hundreds of workers the data necessary to identify and address potential instances of unequal pay.

Thank you to our friends ShareAction for their support and advice on using AGM Activism as a tool for transformative change, and to our AGM Activists Carl and Louise for their digital contributions!

Highlights from our 50th anniversary conference

In case you missed it, or want to watch it back, the full conference (with British Sign Language) can be found on our YouTube channel. We’ve also created a playlist, containing separate videos of each speaker for easy sharing and playback.

Hear the stories of 50 women to mark 50 years of the Equal Pay Act

We’ve brought together stories, videos and images of women workers across sectors, pay grade, age, and experience to mark 50 years since the Equal Pay Act 1970 was passed.

Hear the stories of 50 incredible women on our brand new website.

#EqualPay50 seminar series: Making equal and fair pay a reality

As part of our campaign to make equal pay a key issue on the 50th anniversary of the passage of the Equal Pay Act, we are working with a number of universities to run equal pay seminars. Watch the video below to see what happened at our recent seminar at Leeds University, featuring speakers and contributors from academia, law, business, the trade union movement and equality organisations, each providing insight into the context of unequal pay and strategies that have been successful.

Find out about upcoming events and how to organise a conference in your area. 

Banknotes for Women: London mobilisation

The Equality Trust and a number of brilliant activists staged a public act of resistance outside some of London’s biggest businesses by handing out roses to hundreds of women to mark the fact that many will be effectively “working for free” for the remainder of year.