Friday 10th November is Equal Pay Day – a day which has been calculated to show that, because of the pay gap that exists between men and women, women will now effectively work ‘free’ for the rest of the year.
Global strategic advisor, Rita Trehan, explains:“Equal Pay Day means that effectively, women are working for free for the rest of the year – that’s how big the pay gap remains between and women. Many of us think it’s time for a change, but let’s be honest: we have been talking about this issue forever. So, what’s the deal? Why has there been so little progress? Why are we unable to crack this problem? With all the intelligence we have in the world, the gender pay gap is a solvable – and should be a solved – problem. What can women, men, companies, governments, educational institutions and the HR industry do to make change?
According to Ann Francke, chief executive of the Chartered Management Institute their research, has found there’s a 27 per cent gender pay gap among the UK’s 3.3 million managers, where men outnumber women three to one. “The lack of progress for women into more senior roles is one of the biggest causes of this pay gap,” she says. “There’s a huge prize for businesses that get this right, because equal representation of men and women could add £150 billion to the UK economy in the next 10 years.
“Transparency is a great driver for change,” she continues. “We urge the 98 per cent of businesses that have yet to publish their pay gap data under the new government regulations to step up and put plans in place to fix the issue.”
Jody Goldsworthy, senior partner, Leadership and Talent Practice at GatenbySanderson, adds: “The core issues around diversity are similar across the public and private sectors. Across both, positive action is required. Carefully crafting job adverts and descriptions so that women are a) not turned off and b) encouraged to apply is an important starting point. This means ensuring that the right language is used and a positive image of the holistic role and context, including organisational culture painted.
“It is absolutely critical for companies to meet diversity targets,” she continues. “The vibrant society we live in is so diverse and currently, senior leadership is not. Women at a senior level bring real value. Research shows that decision-making is far more effective when individuals from a range of backgrounds and with varying perspectives are involved.”