Industrial Relations, 57(2) pp 296-319

The Labour Force Survey is used to examine the influence of sector on the UK gender pay gap 1997–2015. The assessment is twofold: first comparing gender pay gaps within sectors and second through identifying the contribution of the concentration of women in the public sector to the overall gender pay gap. The long-term narrowing of the gender pay gap, which predominately reflects relative improvements in women’s productivity-related characteristics, is found to stall in 2010 within each sector. This is considered in the context of claims that public sector austerity represents a critical turning point in progress toward gender equality at work.