Mind the gender pay gap


Written by Laura Brown
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Mind the gender pay gap

The Fawcett Society , the UK’s leading membership charity campaigning for gender equality and women’s rights, has calculated that 18th November 2021 is this year’s Equal Pay Day, the day where women stop being paid compared to men. Gender pay gap data of mean, full-time and hourly information shows that the gap measures 11.9% this year. This is an increase from 2020’s 10.6%.

On average, women earn 87p for every £1 paid to men. Banks and law firms have reported the biggest discrepancies between the earnings of men and women, stating that fewer women in senior roles is the main reason for the gap. And energy giant EDF reports a huge 33% gap in the earnings between men and women, because of the highly paid male nuclear engineers they employ. This begs of question of why aren’t there many highly paid female nuclear engineers!

How to measure the gap

The gender pay gap is the difference between the earnings of male and female employees within a particular group or population. It’s important to mention that the gap isn’t due to men being paid more than women doing the same job as that’s illegal. The Equality Act 2010 states that men and women in the same employment performing equal work must receive equal pay, unless any difference in pay can be justified.

There are various methods that can calculate the gender wage gap, which are all acceptable depending on what you want to learn:

  • The type of pay – hourly or annual pay
  • The average used – mean or median
  • The population – the whole of the UK, regions or cities or even specific companies
  • Hours worked – full-time workers or part-time workers

You can also measure other gaps, such as between people of different ethnic backgrounds, between disabled and non-disabled people or between age groups.

Why is there a gap?

What is keeping women out of the boardroom and maintaining the glass ceiling? The main barriers to the senior level positions with the high salaries are lack of flexible and part-time roles. Women tend to look for more flexible work opportunities once they start a family and have a child to care for.

Gender stereotypes and societal expectations about divisions of labour still shockingly prevail today -the man bringing home the bacon and the woman being a domestic goddess, boys being strong and brave and girls being kind and cute. Stereotypes perpetuate the gender roles and influence people’s perception of the world.

The average yearly cost of childcare in the UK is an extortionate £12-15K per child and if there’s more than one child to send to nursery, the fees can outstrip earnings. The UK is the third most expensive childcare system in the world! Both parents working isn’t sustainable for some families, therefore some women give up their jobs to look after the children full-time whilst their partner continues working. This means promotions to the next level are missed and professional development is stunted.

According to Katie Bardaro, VP of Data Analytics Payscale

‘Positions are filled according to gender, with higher-paid positions being filled by men and lower-paid positions being filled by women.’

Some women work part-time jobs to fit around family life and often these jobs are lower-paid and contribute to the pay gap.

Some women work part-time jobs to fit around family life, and often these jobs are lower-paid which contributes to the pay gap.

How can we close the gap?

The gender gap has a ripple effect – businesses suffer when talented workers leave, there’s less diversity in the C Suite and a pay gap leads to a pension gap for women.

Businesses can help close the gap by offering flexible and part-time roles at all levels. Campaigner Anna Whitehouse aka Mother Pukka has championed flexible working for everyone, not just parents, for the last 6 years. Covid-19 has been the catalyst needed to start the ‘9-5 in the office’ paradigm shifting.

Affordable childcare would enable many women to get back into the workplace and continue their careers without a gap on their CV.

A new way to work

Brevity Marketing offers a four-day week or less to employees and we have a flexible approach to home working too. Although our head office is in Basingstoke, we have employees based in Sussex. Team members benefit from a better work life balance, less stress and better mental health and wellbeing.

If you need some calm and clarity when it comes to marketing and PR, give Brevity call on Basingstoke 01256 53600 or Brighton 01273 286771 to arrange a free Discovery Call.