British Politics

, Volume 14, Issue 2, pp 121–140 | Cite as

Gender pay gap reporting regulations: advancing gender equality policy in tough economic times

  • Susan MilnerEmail author
Original Article


This article sets out to explain why mandatory gender pay gap reporting regulations were introduced in 2016, whereas the two main parties had previously opposed state regulation. Observing the rise in the number of female MPs, it argues that the rise in descriptive representation has enabled substantive representation, but that this does not necessarily explain outcomes. Critical mass is a problematic concept due to difficulties of definition. Rather, the empirical evidence supports the idea that critical actors able to build alliances within the state machinery and beyond it, particularly by working with business influencers, are decisive in exploiting opportunities for change and securing support for it. Feminization of parliament and government also facilitate institutionalization of gender equality actors, although this process remains incomplete and contingent.


Gender pay gap reporting Gender equality policy Equality act 2010 State feminism Equality machinery Critical actors 



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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Limited 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Policy ResearchUniversity of BathBathEngland, UK

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