A study by Xactly has revealed that 49% of UK executives believe that the gender pay-gap is ‘a natural prejudice against women’.
The research aimed to explore the reasons behind the gap and it’s repercussions, and discovered that 62% of those surveyed think that women taking time out of their careers to have children is the main cause of the pay-gap.
Looking at business strategies for re-addressing the pay balance, almost all of those surveyed (92%) would be disappointed if a gender pay gap existed within their organisation. According to the research, 82% say their business has a clear strategy to review and close the gap. Although over a third (38%) did admit that they lack the data and skills needed to identify the gap.
250 UK C-Level executives from large organisations were interviewed for the survey. Tom Castley, Vice President EMEA at Xactly explained why the survey was so important:
“The gender pay gap is not only a failing in equality, but bad news for the economy. Businesses who fail to properly reward their staff, regardless of gender, will always fail to gain the most from their employees and will be limited in their success.The Government understands this and is making moves to address the gap – from April 2018, companies that fail to address pay differences between male and female employees will be highlighted in league tables. Those with more than 250 employees will be forced to reveal their pay gap and need to start calculating the pay gap from April 2017 – 12 months ahead of the first tables.”
Claire Cockerton, CEO, Here East Innovation Centre said:
“Changing perceptions about women’s abilities in the workplace is a stubborn challenge to address. Though we may not realise it, many of us carry preconceived ideas and unconscious biases about women in business. This has once again been highlighted by research today, which has found that nearly half (49%) of UK C-level executives believe the reason for the pay gap is natural prejudice. The fact that nearly half recognise this however, does mean it can be addressed. This elevates an issue which everyone should play a part in rectifying, both female and male, those who have been advocating for equal pay for years, and those who once might not have thought it their place.
Men play a vital role in ensuring that change happens; unfortunately, this is an issue that today, too few men address. The Women in the Workplace 2016 study, for instance, highlighted a growing cultural challenge with the lack of conviction and engagement from senior board-level male staff on gender issues.
It goes without saying that organisations should have a clear compensation philosophy; one that has mandatory salary transparency across genders in businesses and that is based on third-party salary data, ensuring each individual is paid fairly according to the market rate for their skills and experience. But beyond the policy change which delivers better equality to businesses, we also now need the champions of the philosophy and strong enactors of a fair and equally-accommodating corporate culture. We need strong male and female voices; and those who find themselves in leadership positions in companies need to take the requisite responsibility for tipping the scale – which means we need to see a lot more male leaders at the table driving forward diversity and gender equality.”