Little has changed in the past four years as far as the gender pay gap is concerned, figures published by the Office for National Statistics have shown. In 2015, there was a very small narrowing of the gap, which has left it almost unchanged.

In full time employment, women are paid 9.4% less than men, according to the ONS' Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE). Although this is the smallest difference since 1997, in the past four years there has been little progress in narrowing the gender wage gap.

The ASHE showed that full-time male employees make £576 per week on average, compared to £471 earned by women in full-time work.

"The pay gap for full-time work is closing but by the narrowest of margins," said Sam Smethers, chief executive of equality foundation the Fawcett Society. "When you include part-timers there is no change."

The pay gap between men and women in both full-time and part-time roles was unchanged at 19.2% between 2014 and 2015, and Smethers said thease numbers meant there was no cause for celebration.

"This ... proves again why we must speed up the pace of change or future generations of women at work will continue to lose out," she said

"Employers need to review they pay systems, publish their pay gap figure and develop an action plan. Government must invest in our childcare infrastructure and support mums and dads to share caring responsibilities, and we must remove barriers to career progression and career choices."

On 9 November, feminists and equal rights activists marked Equal Pay Day in the UK, as women, compared to men, were effectively working for free from that day until the end of the year.