It was a beautiful Friday in the office, and Sabrina, Gapsquare’s youngest team member had had enough of hearing that it would take over 100 years to close the gender pay gap. It was time to speak out.
At Gapsquare we have worked with over 70 companies in the past 18 months who have taken the initiative on solving their gender pay gap and made use of our online tool that analyses and explains their gap for them.
It’s an interesting world out there for women and men in work. With some industries demonstrating higher workplace inequality than others. Construction and Building Trades Supervisors, for example, are demonstrating a gender pay gap of 45%!
Can we take a moment to take that in? Women in that particular field are likely to be working just as hard as men, but for almost half the pay.
Despite certain (American Presidential) comments that women would hypothetically make the same as men if they were to do as good a job, there’s no reason to believe that female Construction and Building Trades Supervisors are falling asleep at their desks or taking coffee breaks twice as often as men. I’m not even sure it’s possible to sleep that much whilst drinking that much coffee. So where do these problems coming from?
At Gapsquare, we know that it’s crucial that we not only understand pay gap at our individual companies but themes emerging throughout industries. By looking at these issues on a macro as well as micro level, we can solve them once and for all. Our clients have gotten ahead of today’s gender pay regulations and we are building up a narrative around gender pay issues across the country.
We have picked out some themes that are interesting, areas where pay gap analysis is skewed and key issues in certain industries. By understanding these, we can get to the bottom of the gender pay gap and hopefully, one day, stop having to talk about it altogether:
The Public Sector
- As you rise to the top, your male colleagues of the same age may start getting paid more than you.
The public-sector organisations that we have worked with have a workforce composition of over 60% women, which is substantially higher than in other sectors, however it is characterised by the slow career progression of women.
The longer a woman has been working for the organisation, the seemingly higher the pay discrepancy. From what we have seen so far, the pay gap fluctuates around 10% in the public sector, but if you break down the data by age, it jumps to about 22% as women get older.
- They are looking into how ethnicity comes into the Gender Pay Gap
What has also been interesting is that the public-sector organisations are interested in finding out how the gender pay gap varies by ethnicity. Although organisations are not required to keep a record of employee ethnicity, the public sector is more likely to track this information. Over the past year, public sector organisations have been more likely to use Gapsquare to measure gender pay gap by ethnicity, and get insights into what can be done to tackle intersectionality and reduce the pay gap for particular demographics. This is particularly encouraging for the public-sector and is a brilliant example of what can be done to tackle inequality throughout industries.
- A lack of women on their way up to the top
One of the requirements of the regulations is that companies report on the proportion of males and females when divided into four groups ordered from lowest to highest pay. For the public sector, but is also actually applicable for other industries, for example education, we are seeing a dip in the number of women in the second and third quartiles, essentially indicating the real lack of women in the mid-range management roles. This highlights the difficulty of women progressing into the mid-range roles, perpetuating the gender pay gap. Often, we are finding a few women in senior or board level careers, but due to the lack of women in the mid-range positions, this is hindering further progression and stagnating the pay gap.
- Some of the highest paid members of the team aren’t included in the data – this could confuse things somewhat.
The interesting thing about analysis of the legal sector is that they are not required by law to include Partner income. According to the regulations coming in on Thursday, the definition of “employees” will exclude Partners as they are not classed on the payroll in the same way as Associates or Business Support. Often partners will only get paid once per year through dividends, or even if that dividend is split on a monthly basis, there is no requirement to include it.
This will massively (and also unintentionally) skew the data. Some legal firms have already said that they will now start collecting the data on Partners so that they can compare the gender pay gap at that level and take more informed decisions about career progression for women.
- A lot of women in the industry are doing the lower paid work
The gender pay gap within legal industry is predominantly driven by low paid roles, primarily PA’s, who are predominantly women.
- Location, Location, Location
Location also has a significant impact due to the representation of staff in different areas. For example, if a law firm had offices in Bristol, Reading and London, what we are seeing is that there are higher concentrations of women working outside of London. This is due to the fact that more women are involved in business support rather than Partner-level decision making roles which take place outside of the City with a non-London allowance.
Utilities / Engineering
- Where are all the women? We have primarily seen a large clustering of men in key departments, namely operations, engineering and construction, however the gender pay gap within these departments is not massive. What primarily accounts for the gender pay gap in this sector is the overall lack of women in this type of employment. Across all pay quartiles there are about 1 in 4 employees who are women.
This is just the beginning of our understanding of the gender pay gap in specific industries. As our data develops, so we will we, and our intention is to take you along with us.
So how do we move forward?
At Gapsquare we believe that companies and employees across the country will massively benefit from closing their gender pay gap. We know that gender diverse companies are “15% more likely to have financial returns above…industry averages” and that there is evidence that inclusiveness and diversity benefit us all. We are passionate about helping companies understand and take action on their gender pay gap and have developed tools specifically designed to make it simple for them to do so. Our CEO Zara Nanu calls this moment the “Tipping Point” in ending gender pay gap inequality and we can all be a crucial part of the brave new world that awaits on the other side.
Please contact us for advice on how to analyse your gender pay gap:
The Office of National Statistics puts the national gender pay gap in 2016 at 9.4% for full-time employees, although if you include part-time workers, the pay gap climbs to 18.1%. When you start looking at the breakdown across industries, the differences are even more stark. Construction and building trade supervisors have the highest gap, at a staggering 45%. Financial managers and directors come in second at 36%, even when their workforce has 41% women. This is not to say that other industries have a much smaller, or sometimes negative gender pay gap. In artistic, literary and media occupations, the pay gap is 2.7% with the same composition of the workforce as the finance sector. Hairdressers and barbers are at a negative pay gap of -1.1%, although women account for 90% of the workforce here.
Gapsquare are writing about tackling the Gender Pay Gap in collaboration with Equality & Diversity. Read more at http://bit.ly/2o6LIBz
Gapsquare have released a simple tutorial to show you how to use our free tool to analyse and build an understanding of a company’s gender pay gap.
We invite you to get on top of regulations requiring you to publish your pay gap findings today. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you require further information at firstname.lastname@example.org
About a year ago, we were talking to a group of 7 year olds about the gender pay gap. The children were quick to point out that men and women do different kinds of jobs, and there are not that many women in construction because “a brick could fall on a woman’s head and hurt her”, among other reasons. We asked, “and what would happen if, say, a brick fell on a man’s head?”. This was met with thoughtfulness and perplexed consideration.
They were right to some extent, there aren’t many women in the industry, they make up only 11 percent of the workforce and as little as one percent in the manual trades, though perhaps the reasons why are a little more complex. The construction industry has a gender pay gap problem, there is work to do on how inclusive the industry is. But there’s never been a better time to tackle these issues and ensure that future 7 year olds have a whole different spin on the construction industry. After all, a brick really could fall on just about anyone.
Current gender pay gap in construction are identified by the ONS as:
- Construction building trades: 23%
- Construction and building trades supervisors: 45%
- Construction operatives: 15%
- Construction project mangers: 3%
- Production managers and directors in construction: 15%
When it comes to the specific steps an employer can take to tackle the lack of women in construction – it all starts with understanding what data says about women in specific departments and taking action to address that. Gapsquare works to help the construction industry widen its pool of talent and include women in every aspect of the industry. The benefits of doing so are considerable.
Construction and the Gender Pay Gap – What are the issues?
Lack of Women and Lack of Diversity In Their Roles
There are ongoing issues with getting women into certain roles within the construction industry, particularly in the more manual areas of work. Whether this be due to women’s lack of interest in these areas of work, or employers’ lack of interest in taking on women is debatable. Some claim that women are prevented at the first hurdle:
Whether it be due to lack of interest in roles or comfort in doing them, or lack of opportunity, women are seriously hard to come by in this industry. Shockingly, the numbers of female roofers, briacklayers and glaziers was “so low as to be unmeasurable” according to a recent national ONS survey.
Thought there are ever growing numbers of schemes aimed at getting women involved, and we’re moving in the right direction, there are lot of opportunities for improvement.
The Working Culture
There are numerous reports that, unfortunately, the culture in the industry can feel hostile to women who do work in construction. According to one figure, 11% of women have left the construction industry due to discrimination. More than half of the women in one survey stated that they had been treated worse at work because of their gender, and issues such as isolation were listed as key problems. Though there have been many attempts to improve this culture, it is no doubt something that impacts the number of women able to move into and up through the ranks in the industry, or have opportunities for pay rises. This can impact gender pay figures. It is important to consider where this feeling comes from and to foster a more positive environment for all.
Flexibility of work
The retention of women in the industry also suffers due to its lack of maternity and child care benefits. According to Constructing Excellence, only 15% of the construction industry give women more than 18 week’s statutory maternity leave, where the national average is 27%. There is also a lack of flexibility and access to part time work, 44% of females work part time in the UK in general, but this figure is only 5% in construction. More flexibility allows women in the industry to maintain their position despite having caring demands, or wishing to start a family, making the industry much more attractive to a wider range of talented individuals.
What are the benefits of tackling the gender pay gap in your company?
Diversity is essential to profitability
Closing your Gender Pay Gap is good for business. Fact. Famously diversity has a positive impact on earnings. As your customers become more diverse, why shouldn’t your employees do the same? Diversity means diversity of thought, of ideas and a push towards meeting the needs of a diverse range of clients. Solving issues around gender in construction could be profitable for your company, “every 10 per cent increase in gender diversity saw earnings before interest and taxes rise 3.5 per cent in the UK” according to Growth Business. Take advantage of these opportunities.
Access further markets
The benefits of having a team that represents more completely the world around it are obvious. As the National Centre For Diversity points out: “any organisation not promoting equality, diversity and inclusion is neglecting valuable markets, missing out on sales and ultimately losing profits.” With diverse teams there are opportunities for innovation and success in areas previously not accessed.
Increase your pool of recruits
According to the Smith Institute “approximately one in five workers (in construction) are approaching retirement age, and a further 26 percent are between 45 and 55 years old”. The construction industry is predicted to have a serious recruitment issue, with women being the answer: “Women are expected to make up a quarter (26%) of the UK’s construction workforce by 2020″. Your company will need to be ahead of the game in attracting this workforce and recruiting the best and this is best done by getting a grasp on how it manages women in the workplace.
How can Gapsquare help?
At Gapsquare, we analyse your gender pay gap for you and help you to take the best route to solving the gap. Would your company benefit from offering or making it easier to access more flexible working practices? Do you need to develop more opportunities for women within your industry or increase opportunities for women to receive a pay rise? Analysing your gender pay gap has never been easier or more obviously beneficial.
Work with Gapsquare to understand your gender pay gap ahead of your publication of the data in April 2018 and get ahead of competitors in accessing markets, pools of talent and a diverse range of ideas:
Use our free tool on our website www.gapsquare.com or contact us to discuss industry wide offers on our Advanced Services – Email Zara at email@example.com
Let’s put a different spin on the construction industry.
Public sector organisations reporting on the gender pay gap can now take data driven decisions to narrow the gap.
Last week, Secretary of State for Education and Minister for Women and Equalities Justine Greening signed public-sector #GenderPayGap regulations into law. Public-sector bodies will now have to calculate their gender pay gap figures and published them with a written statement on the organisation’s website.
Analysing the gender pay gap is not a novelty for the public sector due to already existing Public Sector Equality Duty (since April 2011).
Those subject to the equality duty already had to do the following:
- Eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation and other conduct prohibited by the Act.
- Advance equality of opportunity between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not.
- Foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not.
As part of the Public Sector Equality Duty, public authorities with 150 employees or more in England, Wales and Scotland had to publish information about their work around equality and gender annually to demonstrate compliance with the general equality duty. Continue reading “Public sector to lead on the gender pay gap”
This international Women’s Day we are delighted to announce that Gapsquare is growing and Sian Webb will be joining our team in April.
In her role as Partnerships Manager, Siân will be working on scaling up Gapsquare nationally so that more companies can benefit from the use technology to analyse and close the gender pay gap.
Siân has a background in gendered research, consultancy and campaigns, stemming from her Masters degree at the University of Bristol in Gender and International Relations.
She has spent the last four years working as a Programme and Campaigns Manager for Bristol Women’s Voice and has previously worked in the private sector in HR.