New report ‘The Future of Gender Equality’ predicts the gender pay gap will close by 2045

Research conducted by Yell highlights the future of gender equality and the impact on work

Reading, UK, 18 July, 2016 –  Yell Business has unveiled a new report looking to the future and what the next 100 years holds for gender equality, family life, technology and businesses.

The report is in two parts, one; a retrospective commentary about the progression of gender equality over the past 100 years; the other a future-gazing prediction featuring 10 key likely advancements over the next 100 years, based on past and current trends, and academic research

‘The Future of Gender Equality’ has been written by futurist, trend forecaster and journalist, James Wallman, who in 2008, forecast the development of technology would enable driverless cars, which would be available to buy by 20201 . Wallman also wrote, Stuffocation: Living More With Less.

The full report The Future of Gender Equality can be downloaded and the following gives an overview of some of Wallman’s predictions

(Never) Mind the Gap

It’s 46 years since the UK government passed the Equal Pay Act (1970), and yet women still earn less. By 2018 companies will be required by law to publish how much they pay men and women. The World Economic Forum believes that the world-wide gender pay gap will close by 21332 . Wallman forecasts the UK pay gap will actually close much sooner — by 2045

The More Gender Agenda

In a far more democratic, meritocratic, fluid world, it’s clear that we have far wider choice. And now that we are escaping a hierarchy defined in simplistic terms, and social conditioning says it’s okay to choose, many are moving away from the binary choices of male and female, and hetero or homosexual, exploring and revealing their true identities. Recent research by New York-based advertising agency J Walter Thompson’s Innovation Group found that 74% of generation Z (ages 13- 20) are more accepting of non-traditional gender identities compared to a year ago – as are more than two-thirds of millennials (people reaching adulthood in the year 2000)3 . In the future, more people will define themselves in nonbinary gender terms. There will be more than two genders.

Bye-Bye Bias

Behavioural science has proved that we are biased4 , but the rise in AR (augmented reality) and VR (virtual reality) will make it easier to avoid gender bias. In an interview, for instance, you might be a woman in real life but a man in VR, or through an AR lens. As a result, our future workplaces will be far less affected by the inbuilt biases and the people we hire and work with will be more diverse, and the results better.


A new movement will emerge with a controversial concept: masculism. At first, this may sound like a parody, but it’s more about a movement that gives men the opportunity to re-define what being a man is. Today men are struggling to be happy as the old certainties of a man’s world implode and their place in this new era seems under threat5 . Young men are also suffering from mental illness and unable to ask for help for fear of looking less macho. So just as there is feminism and a #HeForShe movement, so there will be masculism and a #SheForHe movement and this has to – and will - come from women as much as men.

Nikki Jacobi, HR Director said, “Looking back at the past century and the many advances in technology, our digital landscape and medical treatments - it would be fascinating to be around to see what happens during our next 100 years.

“Our landscape is constantly evolving and changing with current trends marking a clear distinction to more women being involved in business over the next few decades. Gender equality is a key element to business success and something we at Yell fully appreciate and support.”

- ENDS -

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1 http://news.sky.com/story/606134/robot-taxis-set-to-take-to-the-streets-in-the-future
2 http://reports.weforum.org/global-gender-gap-report-2015/press-releases/
3 https://www.jwtintelligence.com/2016/03/gen-z-goes-beyond-gender-binaries-in-new-innovationgroup-data/
4 As summarised in Daniel Kahneman, Thinking Fast and Slow (New York: Penguin, 2011)
5 As summed up by American commentator Susan Faludi in her book Stiffed: The Betrayal of the American Man (New York: Harper Collins, 1999)

Notes to editors

Visit The Future of Gender Equality to watch the summary video or download the full report. To read case studies of gender-challenging businesses visit SME Business Pioneers.

For more information, please contact:

Sarah Wadmore
01273 760975

Eshe Brown
01273 760959

About James Wallman

Wallman recently founded strategy + innovation + futures consultancy The Future is Here. He has commented on trends happening now and forecast what will happen next for more than a decade. For instance, he forecast driverless cars in 2008. He was formerly editor of leading trend consultancy The Future Laboratory’s forecasting publication and wrote the futurology column in T3 magazine. His forecasts and opinions have appeared in publications including the New York Times, the Sunday Times, the Financial Times, Time, The Economist, and Wired. He has advised businesses such as Absolut, BMW, Google and Zurich Insurance on the future. He has an MA in Classics from the University of Oxford.

About Yell

Yell Business is one of the largest providers of digital marketing solutions in the UK, bringing everything small businesses need to advertise their business under one roof, including websites, PPC, display advertising, sponsored listings, video and more. As a Google Premier SME Partner, and with a personalised service tailored for each individual business’s needs, Yell can help make small businesses stand out online. For more information, please visit: https://business.yell.com