The Gender Pay Gap – When will it end?
The pay gap between genders is a complex issue that has been affecting people for many years and according to the World Economic Forum will continue to affect us for the next 217 years. But, many companies, governments and countries are working hard to try to change this…
What is the difference between the gender pay gap and equal pay?
The gender pay gap is not the same as equal pay. Equal pay means that men and women doing the same job should be paid the same – this has been a legal requirement in the UK since 1970.
But a company could still have a gender pay gap due to a majority of men being in top jobs, despite paying male and female employees the same wage for the same jobs. This is still a really important issue as currently, Women make up 62% of those earning less than the living wage, according to the Living Wage Foundation.
Countries making changes…
The top ten companies for gender pay equality, as of the World Economic Forum 2017 are; Iceland, Norway, Finland, Rwanda, Sweden, Nicaragua, Slovenia, Ireland, New Zealand, and the Philippines.
Are introducing wage transparency meaning companies employing more than 100 staff must declare their salary structure every four years and have it reviewed by an independent 3rd party.
The results will then have to be shared with all employees and listed companies will have to publish their gender pay gap analysis in their annual report.
In January this year, Iceland made it illegal to pay women less than men. Under this new legislation, companies employing more than 25 people are obliged to obtain a government certification demonstrating their pay equality to avoid fines.
Iceland have been recognised for their efforts in reducing their gender pay gap and have been ranked the best in the world for gender pay equality by the World Economic Forum for the past nine years – well-deservedly.
So, what is the UK doing?
The UK reported a 16.9% pay gap between men and women in 2017 and are ranked 15th for gender pay equality from the World Economic Forum. UK companies employing 250 or more staff member have to publish their gender pay gap data under a new legal requirement. Although, companies can’t be punished for a large gender pay gap, but they could be punished for not publishing their data or for publishing inaccurate figures.
What you can do as a business
Promote transparency throughout the business. One of our clients GrantTree make Transparency one of their core values. So, all information is by default transparent: salaries, detailed accounts of the company, strategic discussions, etc.
Regularly review salaries across the business and amend if there are any discrepancies.
Provide training on gender equality to managers in the business, educate them on the discrimination that takes place in business. Teach them how to identify discrimination when it takes place, how to deal with the situation and how to prevent it from happening in the future.
Establish and implement policies and programs to recruit, retain, and promote women, including addressing unpaid care needs, and enabling managers to battle unconscious biases.
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