The pay gap between women and men working in UK science is at least 5% higher than the national average, according to government statistics.

In their annual earnings report, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has revealed the gender pay gap has shrunk across all sectors, falling from 19.3% to 18.1% over the past year. This figure falls in stark contrast with the landscape in 1997, when women were paid 27.5% less than men on average.

But women working in science are paid 23.7% less than men in 2016, according to the ONS. This gap is 5.6% wider than the national average. Of all the 20 sectors surveyed, the fifth largest pay gap exists in the science and technical services industry. Those working in the financial and insurance sector will be hit with a pay difference of 37.4%.

In an effort to reduce the national gap, the UK government will now force employers with over 250 staff to publish their own gender pay statistics.