Gender pay gap will not be closed until 2041

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On the 28th October in 2017, Prime Minister Theresa May announced a drive for more companies to publish gender pay gap reports and to take the necessary action to close it.

May introduced a mandatory requirement of businesses that employ over 250 staff, to produce a gender pay gap report by April this year.

It was revealed at the turn of the year that British companies such as Easyjet, Ladbrokes and Virgin Money are over 15% in favour of male wages in the mean of the average hourly wage.

However companies and organisations such as Cambridgeshire Police, Unilever UK Limited and Evans Cycles all revealed in their gender pay gap reports that females are paid more than males. The British Museum was the only organisation to have declared an hourly pay which was the same for both genders.

Coventry’s response

Businesses and organisations in Coventry have also been unveiling their gender pay gap reports for their businesses and companies:

  • Coventry Building Society – 33.1% lower
  • First Utility Limited – 20% lower
  • City College Coventry – 14.9% lower
  • NHS Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust – 14.8% lower

Coventry Building Society is one of the organisations to have the biggest difference in hourly wages declared in the city.

Mark Parsons, Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director of Coventry Building Society released a statement addressing the company’s large gender pay gap and how they’re focusing on rectifying the gap.

“I confirm the accuracy of the data we’ve reported and also that we’re serious about addressing the gender pay gap it reveals.

Our gender pay gap is primarily due to us having a large proportion of women in non-managerial or customer service roles and more men than women in managerial, technical or specialist roles which attract higher pay.

Operating in a sector that has long struggled with its diversity, we’re focusing on how we can make all roles accessible to everyone and how we can create genuine opportunities for talented people. Flexible working, different approaches to recruitment and assessment, personal and career development, mentoring, apprenticeships, graduate schemes – these are some of the things we’re doing to make sure the Society is a great place to work where everybody feels valued, included and empowered. I am confident they’re also the things that are important in progressing our commitment to reduce the gender pay gap” said Parsons.

The 33.1% is 13% more than the UK average of 20%, according to the report released by Institute for Fiscal Studies.

The report uncovers that the pay gap between genders is still around the 20% mark on average, although there has been a decrease from the gap which stood at 28% in 1998.

Credit: Institute for Fiscal Studies

Lucy Becque, Head of Human Resources at Coventry Building Society had this to say: “We want to do better. We know that our gender pay gap comes from having more men than women in managerial, senior and technical roles, (and more women than men in lower paid roles, for example, non-managerial or customer facing roles), so our aim is to improve access to these roles for all employees.  Steps we are taking include flexible working initiatives, different approaches to recruitment and assessment, personal and career development, mentoring, apprenticeships, graduate schemes – these are all things we’re doing to create a better working environment at the Society, and they are all important in tackling our gender pay gap.”

The report also uncovered the gap in gender pay over the different levels of education people had progressed to.

The difference between female and male wages of that who obtained a job after completing their GCSE’s, was significantly less than that of those that completed a university degree.

Credit: Institute for Fiscal Studies

The NHS Coventry & Warwickshire Partnership Trust, who have a gender pay gap of 14.8%, also commented on their position of the report they released.

A spokesperson for the Trust said: “At Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust, our people are our priority, and our Workforce & Organisational Development Strategy articulates our five year journey to achieving our ambitions of being a great place to work, a great place for care and a great place to care.  We are committed to creating and maintaining a culture of inclusion in which people from all backgrounds can fully contribute to the success and growth of the organisation. To understand what we need to do to achieve this, we completed a detailed analysis and recommended actions to address gender pay gaps within the Trust.  Our approach to a better gender pay balance will be achieved by focusing on our cultural improvement and leadership development.”

The published report from the NHS Trust stated the following:

  • The male average hourly pay rate is £18.76 to that of £15.98 per hour for females
  • The difference for the median average of hourly pay is 6.24% difference, whereas the mean average is 14.8%
  • The average hourly bonus pay rate sees a 38.7% difference, with males on average earning a bonus of £8.17 per hour and females earning an hourly bonus of £5.01 per hour.

The region of the West Midlands is reported as one the worst places in the UK for the difference in gender pay, with over half the women in the region working in low paid sectors, whilst men in the region tend to work in high paid manufacturing jobs. Females would need to see on average a 27% swing to match their male counterparts.

Companies favouring women

The majority of companies, businesses and organisations publishing their reports are seeing that men are frequently earning substantially more than females.

Companies however such as Europcar UK, Diageo, Biffa and Ocado all revealed that females in their businesses are being paid more than males.

Three Rivers Council in Hertfordshire unveiled that they are paying women a huge 42% more pay per hour.

With just fewer than ten thousand companies required with providing reports on the gender wage pay gap, more than eight thousand are still yet to provide the required information after just only over one thousand  of companies required have completed their reports.

Jack Williams

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