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Posted: 14 Nov 2017

Lead Consultant Christine Ebeling Long digs into the gender pay gap...


If you’re female you may well be.

The gender pay gap continues to get a lot of press in the UK but are things improving?  From the BBC’s high-profile publication of their personalities’ salaries back in July to the video starring Hannah and Eliza Reilly from Growing up Gracefully aired recently on ABC (Australia) there seems to be much talk but slow progress.

Hannah and Eliza Reilly make the point that the difference in pay (based on the national average salary by gender in Australia) means that women should actually clock off work at 15:43 while in the UK the time quoted is 14:38.

In fact, averaged over a year the gender pay gap across Europe is 17% whilst in the UK (source:  Eurostat) the disparity is 20% meaning women could technically finish work on the 16th October and not start again until January.

In comparison, German women worked for free from 11th October and, more surprisingly, women in some Nordic counties (like Finland) worked free after 30th October according to an article by Shafi Musaddique (Independent 16 October 2017).

New Law

The UK Government is trying to counteract this imbalance by introducing new laws in April 2018, which will require all companies with 250 or more employees to publish gender pay figures.  Will this affect your company and what do you expect to learn?

Gender Pay Gap Falling

There is some further good news.  In reality, the pay gap has been decreasing – from 27.5% in 1997 to today’s figure. The figure looks even better for full time workers ­– down to 9.4% in 2016.  More interestingly for part-time workers the pay gap is 6% in favour of women.

Pay Gap varies by Occupation

In addition, the pay gap differs depending on the type of work you do according the Office for National Statistics in 2016.  For instance, professional occupations (like marketing) show a difference of 10.6% and skilled trades are a staggeringly high 25.1% with sales and customer service the lowest sector at 3.9%

What next?

If you are in a company of over 250 people, what will you do when the statistics are published for your company after April 2018? How will you react, as a male or female, if there is shown to be a gender pay gap in your company?


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