The Prime Minister also described new regulations forcing companies with more than 250 staff to report the difference in average pay between men and women as a “really big move” in the fight for equal wages.
But his comments angered Liberal Democrats who argued the Conservatives were trying to claim credit for a measure they attempted to block during the coalition government.
Mr Cameron said publishing details of the pay gap in big companies will “cast sunlight on the discrepancies and create the pressure we need for change, driving women’s wages up.”
He added: “Transparency, skills, representation, affordable childcare – these things can end the gender pay gap in a generation. That’s my goal.”
A consultation will be launched today on how the regulations will work and calling for ideas on how to encourage girls to consider the widest range of careers, support parents returning to work and help women reach their potential.
Shadow Minister for Women Glorio Del Piero said: “It’s good news that the Government have finally embraced pay transparency after shelving the Labour legislation for five years.
“But for pay transparency to make a real difference, we need to have an annual equal pay check which measures progress and recommends what action needs to be taken - a move the Government voted against earlier this month.”