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Gender Pay Gap

April is the month when the UK Government publishes it’s annual Gender Pay Gap. Companies over 250 employees have a mandatory reporting obligation to report and publish their gender and bonus pay gaps.

The result?

While the trend recently has been to name and shame corporations who fail at gender pay balance, it seems that it has had little, or no, effect on an industry-wide level. Three quarters of 10,000 reporting firms pay men more than women. Good news… or is it… the pay gap has shrunk slightly between 2017 and 2018 from 9.7% to 9.6%.

A recent report by Glassdoor looked at the gender pay gap in eight countries – the US, the UK, Canada, Germany, France, the Netherlands, Singapore and Australia. The findings: in all eight countries men earnt more for doing the same job as women. An interesting insight was review job roles and found that in the US, female pilots earn 26.6% less than men; chefs a gap of 24.6% and C-suite executives 24%. 

Additionally, on average, men in the UK are paid 11.8% more than women in the same fields and roles. This is 2019! Why is this still happening and is there any sign of improvement?

Many experts agree that, to help reduce the gender pay gap in the UK, we need serious changes in corporate culture, fairer hiring and promotions practices and more awareness without fanaticism.

Timewise recently updated their research into the gender pay gap reasons. Here are three key reasons:

  1. There are more men in senior roles than women. And senior people tend to be paid more than junior people. Perhaps what needs to be tackled is the very old thinking that presenteeism, long hours culture and constant availability means that women are not going to be able to break into the boardroom…..
  2. The majority of the home chores(children, eldercare, household) tend to still fall on the shoulders of women. How many men do you see at the school gates? How do we create cultures where both men and women CAN work flexibly and be accepted in our society?
  3. Flexible working tends to exist in the more caring roles of teaching, nursing, retail jobs and not in the traditional STEM roles, for example. Why not open up greater flexibility and part time working across all sectors?

Women don’t like to ask.

I’d like to add an additional reason into the mix. Women find it very difficult to ask for themselves. Women aren’t taught how to ask for more money. We often feel deeply uncomfortable. We don’t seem to have the language or the framework. We rarely see our worth through the eyes of others and would much rather our performance and our potential is recognized than us having to spell it out. And couple that with an inner voice shouting – who you? Who do you think you are?! You can’t ask for that! 

And yet men are so much more comfortable with the give and take, the play, the over-asking and seeing where it goes. I get told over and over again by recruiters that men will always ask for much more than they ‘should’ and women, almost always asking for too little.

This does not help matters! If this sounds like you, then perhaps you could hook up with a great negotiator who works in your organisation; talk to HR about the pay boundaries and what you need to do; find a sponsor who will help open the doors and pathways for you.

Progress Requires Change

     There are many things that can be done to help decrease the gender pay gap in the UK. From executive training programmes for women business leadersto improved methods of reporting gender pay gaps, progress requires change and change requires us to stand up and have our voices heard.

Contact The Women Leaders Association

     To learn more about how you can improve your leadership talent, contact The Women Leaders Associationtoday!

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