A RECENT survey for the Equal Opportunities Commission has shown that women are still being paid less than men.
Thirty years after the Equal Pay Act came into effect, it seems that women still face pre- judice because of their gender.
The survey found 88% of the women surveyed expected to earn the same as a man with the same qualifications.
The 24 and unders provided even more optimistic expectations, with 94% of them expecting equal pay with male colleagues.
The Government appointed Denise Kingsmill, the deputy chairman of the Competition Commission, to lead an inquiry into the issue and suggest practical solutions to the pay gap.
Her first findings showed there were not many situations with which women felt they could not compete equally.
But when it came to pay, the odds were still stacked against them.
It is reported that, on average, for every £1 a man earns, a woman receives only 82p, across both the public and private sectors.
The result is a cash deficit that could add up to as much as £250,000 over a lifetime.
However, it is difficult to determine if you are being paid incorrectly.
EOC chairwoman Julie Mellor said: "Forget about sex, politics and religion, pay is the new taboo. In Britain the whole business of pay is shrouded in mystery.
"This survey also shows that if you are a woman on a lower wage you are even more likely to be in the dark on how much you should expect.
"Discrimination flourishes in this culture of secrecy, when people cannot be sure they are rewarded fairly."
It is unbelievable that in 2006, women still face social prejudices that may hinder success.
I represent many of the repressions that so many women have faced, fought against and won.
Because of such women, in six months I will have attained an education at degree level - an achievement for a working class female.
But as I enter the world of work why should I have to question issues such as pay?
If I am equally qualified I should be equally rewarded.
I worked equally as hard!