The gender commuting gap shows that women across the UK are more likely to live 15 minutes from work. The difference in commuting times is largely due to women working nearer home after having their first child. Interestingly, this constraint on commuting longer distances is thought by economists to be one of multiple contributing factors to the gender pay gap, as women are limited in their choice of work, even if it pays more.
A disproportionate share of childcare responsibilities results in women working closer to the home, potentially contributing to the gender pay gap, new data has revealed. Women in every region of the UK apart from London are more likely than men to live within a 15-minute commute to their place of work, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
The pattern is reversed for longer commutes, adding to a so-called gender commuting gap. About 61% of commuters who travel for more than an hour are men, the data shows. In the east of England men represent more than three-quarters of those who spend more than an hour travelling.
London was the only region in the UK where women were not more likely than men to live within 15 minutes of their workplace.
Analysis of similar data by the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) thinktank shows that the difference in commuting times is largely driven by women working closer to home in the decade after having their first child. Fatherhood has little effect on men’s travel times.
The rise of the gender commuting gap comes in the context of rapidly increasing commuting times for people of all genders.
The number of people spending more than an hour on their commute has risen by almost a third since 2011, the ONS said. The figures echo previous findings by the Trade Union Congress, which found a similar 31% rise in the number of two-hour slogs to work between 2011 and 2016.