The Gender Gap is having a significant impact on the recruitment industry, and the Recruiting Times report points out that 66% of UK employees say they wouldn’t apply for a job where they believe there is a gender pay gap. Naturally, that sentiment is expressed more so by women than men – 76% of women think this way, while just 59% of men echo their feelings.
But the greater impact is with millennials with 80% saying they would not even apply for a job if they believed there to be a gender pay gap compared with those aged 45-54 (58%) and those aged 55+ (52%).
The UK Government has put legislation in place states that from 2018 onwards organisations employing more than 250 people will be obliged to make public the salaries their employees are paid thus highlighting any gender pay gaps. 8,000 companies will now have to report their gender diversity in public and publish information about the bonuses their staff receive, which is a contributing factor in gender pay inequality.
PwC is a company that already voluntarily reports its gender pay gap publicly. Gaenor Bagley, Head of People and Executive Board Member at PwC, explains the benefits of this: “Publishing our gender pay gap has been a really positive move. It has increased awareness across our firm of the underlying issues and allowed us to take action as part of our wider diversity and inclusion initiatives.” However, she says that making this information public knowledge is about bringing the issue into the spotlight, not “naming and shaming organisations.” She says organisations should be “using the gender pay gap analysis to understand why they have a gap in the first place and coming up with actions to solve the gap”.
Just highlighting the gap isn’t enough. If we are to promote change, any gender pay or bonus numbers need to be supported by commentary. Bagley also stated, “The size of the gap itself isn’t the most important factor – it is whether organisations understand the drivers of the gap and say what they are doing to close it. This is about companies learning from each other on best practice on how to create equal opportunities for all across the workplace.”
But while reporting is driving change, according to the Women on Boards review, it is not going to close the gap all by itself.
Commenting on the aforementioned potential £300,000 lifetime gap, the TUC general secretary, Frances O’Grady, said: “Far more must be done to tackle the UK’s gender pay gap. We need more quality part-time jobs, better-paid fathers’ leave and more free childcare from the end of maternity leave to help mothers get back to work after having children.”
PwC’s Gaenor Bagley also believes that a “key driver” of change will also be “female representation at senior versus junior levels”, something a number of countries are now starting to legislate for also.