The Gender Pay Gap
The most common misconception with the gender pay gap, is with the confusion between the pay gap and equal pay. I think that it is important that we first establish the difference between the two.
Gender pay gap is about the difference between, male and female average earnings within a company/organisation. Whereas when we talk about equal pay between genders we are talking about the differences or similarities with pay within like for like roles. Let’s give an example of equal pay;
Employee 1 -Team Leader – £26,000.00
Employee 2 -Team Leader – £31,000.00
In this example, there is a clear difference between salaries, yet the role is exactly the same. This is important to establish as the question can then be, why aren’t there more women in senior roles, or why aren’t there more men in junior roles within an organisation?
Recently the BBC were brought into the spotlight, as they where one of the first to publish the figures on the gender pay gap. This same report highlighted a bigger issue with equal pay also, with co presenters on the same shows getting paid vast different salaries with the only variable being sex.
As more and more of these studies are published it is becoming very clear that the gender pay gap is still very much present, within uk organisations. The same narrative and rhetoric still lingers also, ‘Women having children means that in their prime they have to leave work for nearly a year, therefore we can not promote them as when maternity leave comes around, we will have to temporarily hire’. Just the very writing of this felt archaic and dated however, this is still a common thought process.
How can we improve the Gender Pay Gap across the UK?
Review your gender pay gap, within your company. Can this be improved? It is now widely accepted that a company that does not have equality within its senior management teams will not perform as well as a company that does. This is due to increased diversity and that with diversity comes more insight and a better overall perspective.
We must focus heavily on the next generation. We have come a long way, even in the last 20 or so years, with the birth of social media and the internet making it harder for companies to continue to have this gap. However, a way to bridge the gap further, is to challenge the concept of ‘male and female jobs’ at a younger age. It is understood that from the age of just 5 years old the concept of male and female jobs begins to be ingrained. There could be a lot more done to intervene within schools and society to discuss that roles are not gender driven but they are given on merit and skills. Qualifications also become critical, apprenticeships within trades and also university courses to be targeted at children and young adults equally,