How should Catholic schools encourage girls to close the gender pay gap?

Charlotte Goddard

This article asks whether there can be a distinctively Catholic approach to the question of how schools should encourage girls to aspire to close the gender pay gap.  Charlotte Goddard is Head of Classics at Ampleforth College, Yorkshire.

1.    Setting the context
The publication of average salaries for male and female employees, which first became mandatory for larger companies in 2018, revealed, unsurprisingly, that women are under-represented in higher earning roles. This has brought to the fore the debate about inequalities between the sexes in professional attainment. It has also refreshed the call, often heard in girls’ education, for schools to encourage girls to enhance their earning potential through their choice of career and their capacity to progress within it.

More than ever before, girls are being exhorted to achieve economic advantage and professional prestige. The Gatsby Foundation (2018: 15-6) recommends that girls in particular should be encouraged to specialise in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) disciplines, which can support higher-paid careers.

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