Jaime Johnson is the founder and Director of leading employee research consultancy, The Survey Initiative.
Here, she explains how the tide is beginning to turn on the gender pay gap.
We’ve all heard about the gender pay gap and many of us have felt frustrated that we’re paid less than our male counterparts. In a recent survey by the *Young Women’s Trust, more than one million young women say they had been paid less than male colleagues for the same work. Although the Equal Pay Act was brought in almost 50 years ago, the gender pay gap has become a massive problem, but fortunately, the tide has started to turn. In 2017 large organisations were enforced to publicly report their gender pay gap and for many companies the results did not make easy reading. But the ‘naming and shaming’ is having an effect.
Hitting the headlines for all the wrong reasons is never good for an organisation’s reputation, we all remember watching our TV screens as top BBC news editor, Carrie Gracie, took on the BBC for being paid just a fraction of her male colleagues. But thanks to the growing awareness and a more open culture where employees can openly discuss salaries, the issue of the gender pay gap is now firmly on the boardroom table. Figures from the **Confederation of British Industry (CBI) show that 93 per cent of businesses are now taking action to close the gender pay gap and increase diversity in their workforces, this figure is in stark contrast from just 67 per cent of organisations who were reportedly looking to bring about change in 2017.
But, let’s not get too carried away, there is a momentum for change, but the gap still exists, and that’s not great. We need to empower ourselves to move forward and grasp the opportunities that this new transparent and open culture offers us. Let’s get savvy and when looking for our next career move, let’s not get carried away with the glossy job ad, but scratch under the surface and look at an organisation’s gender pay gap. If you’re happy with the ethos and percentage of gender pay gap, go for the new position, but if you don’t like what you see, move on and find another job opportunity with a company that offers equal respect for all staff members.
All employees should also analyse their current organisation’s gender pay gap score. If they have any concerns about the details, they should organise a meeting with their line manager to discuss thoughts on the matter. You never know, this could help you earn a pay rise! Thanks to the public naming and shaming of organisations it’s not hard to find out who’s doing well and who’s not when it comes to the gender pay gap. Recently it was reported that ***HSBC’s gender pay gap had grown to a staggering 61%, making them the worst culprits in the banking industry. Their gap is so large that women reportedly earn 39p for every £1 pocketed by their male colleagues! Many large corporations state that their gap is skewed due to their senior management team taking home the largest salaries. Sadly, this is just another reflection about inequality in the workplace and the lack of women breaking through the glass ceiling into top director positions. Again, the stats speak for themselves. If organisations are using this as an ‘excuse’ for their gender pay gap, decide whether they really are the right organisation for you, will they help you reach your career goals and nurture you to the top?
Thanks to the public reporting of these figures women in the workplace can make a considered decision on which organisation they would like to join, and if top talent stops walking through an organisation’s doors, change will happen faster than ever before!
To review perceptions on pay in your organisation, visit www.surveyinitiative.co.uk
About the author
Jaime founded The Survey Initiative in 2006 following a career in employee research. She heads up the data analysis team and is dedicated to creating employee research solutions that deliver real results. Out of hours she’s a busy mum with three children and is fanatical about coffee.