New regulations came into force this April that require companies with over 250 employees to report on their gender pay gap. But what does this mean?
People, says Sian Webb at Gapsquare, are quick to confuse equal pay with the gender pay gap.
“I was recently sat in a pub with some friends and they said that they were looking forward to finding out if their male colleague with the same job title and same experience was being more than them. I was also recently sat in a meeting with a large technology company and their Financial Director stated that the regulations were “ridiculous” as they are not comparing “like for like”.
That’s because we do not have to compare “like for like”. That would be an equal pay issue – something that is a legal requirement since the 1970 Equal Pay Act. If a male colleague has the same job title, same pay grade, same experience but earns more than the female counterpart, then there could in fact be an Equal Pay claim and legal advice should be sought.
The gender pay gap reporting requirements however, are not to do with Equal Pay. They compare the overall company male average pay to the female average pay and are more likely to reflect the clustering of women in low paid, part time roles, occupational segregation as there are less women in roles that pay more, and general lack of women in leadership roles.
“The snap general election was mainly focused on Brexit, yet all parties produced manifestos which will pave the way for policy and governance over the next five years.”
“Equality and diversity has ignited both the public and politicians alike, with women’s rights being at the forefront of activism, 2018 being the centenary of women’s suffrage and three formidable political leaders Sturgeon, Davidson and May seen as reaching the tipping point for equal gendered representation in politics. A McKinsey report published in 2015 stated that gender diverse companies are 15% more likely to outperform than their competitors, and ethnically diverse companies are 35% more likely to outperform, and so it is critical to understand what the political parties say about tackling equality and diversity within business.”
Article by Sian Webb – Partnerships Manager @Gapsquare with Equality and Diversity
Read the rest of this article on the Equality and Diversity Website
Gapsquare’s Dr Zara Nanu joined teams of academics, industry experts, government representatives and policy makers at this year’s annual STEM Gender Equality Congress on the 8th and the 9th June where she spoke on Sharing Best Practice Between Industry and Academia.
Sharing years of accumulated knowledge and experience working with companies in the UK and internationally to close their gender pay gap, Zara debated the issues with representatives of the World Economic Forum , Accenture and EDGE Certified Foundation.
The event brought together experts and key figures who are working together to increase the number of women in Science Technology Engineering and Maths, and support those who do make it into STEM industries to stay there. A series a fascinating talks and panel discussions on how to bring women into STEM ensued.
The congress covered ways to ensure more women enter the sector and that these women are retained. It is widely acknowledged that this is not what happens at present and this plays its own devilish part in making the gender pay gap what it is (though they’re definitely not the only industries with serious issues to overcome).
Gapsquare’s particular interest was in discussing current practice in terms of engaging more women in STEM and also the creative thinking that is needed to bring together more stakeholders to think about how they can attract more women in STEM.
According to Dr. Zara Nanu:
“Obviously occupational segregation and lack of women in STEM is one of the leading causes of its gender pay gap and if we don’t do anything to increase numbers of women in these sectors then in 50 years’ time, with automation and the progress of technology we are going to see an exclusion of women from the economy altogether. ”
This was a hugely engaging congress and Gapsquare looks forward to continuing to work with innovative companies across the UK to share the wealth of knowledge and expertise gained on how we can increase the numbers of women in STEM.