As you can imagine, there has been a lot of noise this week following the UK filing deadline (4 April) for companies to reveal their gender pay gap. For many employers this marks the first time these figures have been laid bare for the world to see… undoubtedly a nerve-wracking moment for most employers.
It’s been described as a ‘monumental’ revolution. Organisations have revealed the average hourly earnings of men and women, bonus gaps and the percentage of women at different levels of the pay structure. The results (unsurprisingly) shows almost 8 in 10 companies and public-sector bodies pay men more than women and far fewer women reach the most senior roles in their firms.
The past idea that high paid roles require working to ungodly hours and therefore not always suited to women who work flexibly is no longer a ‘sufficient’ excuse. More so than ever, equality expectations are at a peak and the recent #TimesUp movement has certainly played a significant role. While issues around female sexual harassment was brought to the fore, #TimesUp also shed light on inequalities within the workplace.
In response, more and more companies are pushing for change and showing solidarity in tackling gender diversity. This week Cannes Lions and HP have united to launch an initiative called #MoreLikeMe – a pilot mentoring programme aimed at increasing the number of women and people from ethnic minorities across the creative industry. Initiatives like these might seem small but they play an important in pushing for change.
Returning to my first point, while the gender pay gap has certainly been effective in encouraging people to talk, the next step is ACTION.
Change is coming.