New research has linked men’s tendency to travel further for work with the gender pay gap.
What it means: On average, men commute for longer than women do. Studies by the ONS (Office for National Statistics, which works out stats for the UK) say that 65 percent of commutes over an hour are taken by men, while 55 percent of commutes under 15 mins (ah, the dream) are taken by women.
If you’re one of those women with a short commute, you might think your less-fair counterparts are welcome to the extra time squished into some stranger’s armpit. But data from the IFS (Institute for Fiscal Studies, which does research to try and come up with good economic policies) says the “gender commuting gap” could possibly be one of the reasons women are often paid less than menfor the same work.
Their logic is that the further you’re willing to travel for work, the more chance you have of finding a job that’s perfect for your skillset, or gives you an opportunity to advance up the company ranks, or will just offer you a big-ass salary. Limit yourself to only those employers within a ten-minute radius of your home and, unless you live in the heart of Silicon Valley, you’re likely to have to just take whatever work you can get.
But some people - male and female - may feel that even if the IFS is right, better job prospects and a higher salary still don't outweigh the bad parts of commuting, such as higher travel costs, having less time to spend with loved ones and hobbies, and the negative effects on your health and productivity.
So how do we get what we need to live? Our livelihoods are our own personal answer to that question, whether it be job in a factory, setting up a start-up, or taking time out to travel. But the economy we live in affects the choices we have in setting up our livelihoods, and we rely on so many other workers around us to be able to do what we do… how do we get the balance right?