Gender Pay Gap Reporting

If you didn’t already know, by April all employers with 250 or more employees will be legally required to publish how large the pay gap is between their male and female staff.

Many companies have done this already. The extent of the gap for some employers has been staggering. For example, the difference in average hourly pay at EasyJet is 51.7% lower for women, and at the Co-op it is 30.3%. At clothing brand Phase Eight it is 64.8% lower and at NPower it is 19%.

However, before you start boycotting shops and airlines, stop watching certain TV channels or close your bank accounts, it is important not to take the values at face value. Having a pay gap is not the same as having unequal pay between men and women. There is a crucial distinction between the two that I suspect will be easily forgotten.

Gender Pay v Equal Pay

Equal pay for work of equal value is covered by the Equalities Act 2010 and sets out that a man and a woman should not be paid differently because of their sex. Gender Pay Gap Reporting (Equality Act 2010 (Gender Pay Gap Information) Regulations 2017) on the other hand looks at the pay difference between all men and all women within a company as a whole, regardless of what role they carry out.

A company could have equal pay across every single individual role (which would be great) but if all their directors are men and their customer-facing staff are women, there will naturally be a significant gender pay gap. Easyjet, for example, explains that out of their pilots only 86 of them are female compared to 1407 males. If such a small proportion of females fill their highest paid jobs, their pay gap will obviously be large even if all their pilots are paid exactly the same.

For me, the gender pay gap reporting then shines a light on a much bigger issue of opportunity rather than pay. How are women recruited or promoted into the higher paid roles? What stops them reaching the highest level within an organisation? If women have families, how are they being supported so they can continue to work? What family-friendly policies are in place?

When providing the gender pay figures, employers will also have the opportunity to provide answers to questions such as these in the form of a written statement. They can use the statement to explain any gap and try to put their figures into context. I strongly recommend anyone interested in this to have a good read rather than take figures on face value – you’ll soon find out how seriously companies are taking it and what they are planning on doing.

So what about my kids?

Ah yes them. As the name suggests, I have three – two boys and a girl. We try to be as gender neutral as possible but unfortunately our society has better ideas. You just need to look at adverts on TV and the shelves in toyshops – pink pretty toys, hair accessories and dolls for girls; blue noisy cars, construction sets and tools for boys. These stereotypes have extended to the workplace, but this spans generations – whilst men can be pilots, women can only be cabin crew, men can be directors, women can be secretaries, men can be builders, women can be shop assistants.

It is incomprehensible that my daughter not only grows up to earn less money than her brothers but also has opportunities closed off to her simply because she happens to be female. What parent can honestly face their children and say that this is ok?

Equality is a battle that needs to won and although gender pay gap reporting isn’t going to change much in its first year, it will raise questions, uncomfortable questions for many. The risk to employer reputation is so potentially huge (just ask the BBC) that only foolish employers would do nothing.

So although gender pay gap reporting may be a step in the right direction, I just hope there will be enough of these steps by the time my children get their first jobs.

DIY Daddy

7 thoughts on “What will Gender Pay Gap Reporting do for my kids?

  1. Those stats are really interesting . I work in government and my organisation publishes quite detailed statistics about gender and diversity pay in the organisation. We have a banded pay structure. I know therefore that everyone else at my grade is being paid the same. The stats around which jobs we all do though are more interesting. The stats show that are promoted more quickly and that they apply for promotion sooner, but when women do apply they are more likely to get through the selection board, because overall they meet more of the required criteria. There are more men at the most senior levels. Pen x #ThatFridayLinky

    1. Thanks for reading – I love stats like this 🙂 I used to work in public sector so know what structure you mean. Although great for transparency, the private sector isn’t a fan, unfortunately… :-/

  2. I am going to put my neck on the line and say gender pay gap reporting is misleading. The phrase “gender pay gap” is an exceptionally blunt tool that benefits politicians who want to score cheap points. Fact: There is more than one gender pay gap. There’s a gender pay gap between part time workers. Women come out on top of this league. There’s a tiny, tiny gender pay before men and women hit the age of 29. Again, women are on top although the difference is so small it’s negligible.

    It’s what happens after the age of 29 that’s interesting. That’s about the age most people start having families. This is when women’s pay and opportunities are often slashed and a real gender pay gap occours. Again, however, it’s not that simple. If, like me, you are male and take on the main care-giving role within your family then your future earning opportunities mirror those of any woman who has followed the same path.

    I’ve long felt that we should refer to a ‘carer pay gap’ rather than a ‘gender pay gap’. How will this affect your kids? Hopefully as this generation grows up it will be more acceptable for men to be stay at home parents and fulfil care giving roles. that way there will be more equality of opportunity for both genders and those pay gaps will go up in a puff of smoke.

    There endeth my sermon. Next week: Gender equality in 5th Century China.

    Visited from #thatfridaylinky

    1. Thanks for reading – I think you’re right. I do this as part of my day job and think the calculations themselves are flawed, but if it raises questions I suppose it is a start. Interestingly I’ve found that there is a negligible gap in the 20s and it increases in the 40s/50s so I like the idea of referring to a career pay gap. I could ramble on for hours on this sort of stuff…

  3. I was reading about this the other day and it made think about my kids too, I’m not sure how it will work out time will tell, Really interesting read Thank you for linking to #Thatfridaylinky please come back next week

  4. This was such an interesting read. Although, the gender pay gap appears to show women at a disadvantage, when you look closer and find out why, the figures can be misleading. As you say if more men are higher up and more women in customer facing roles, then naturally that makes sense, but then we have to question why there are more men higher up than women and ask if that’s really fair? As for the equality report and figures, again they make for very interesting reading. As a mum to twin girls, I can only hope that by the time they enter the workforce, things are fairer. Great post. Thanks for linking up to #ThatFridayLinky

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