Not surprisingly (to women that is) the government’s latest gender pay gap report has revealed that last year, women in the UK were paid 90p for every £1 earned by a man.
This year’s report, published in April, found that in industries including finance, communication and construction, the median gap widened, with women receiving 88p, 83p and 76p respectively compared to their male counterparts.
Amid a cost of living crisis, it paints a bleak yet unsurprising picture of the realities of being a woman in 2022.
52% of men surveyed regarding the pay gap believe that workplaces are equal, and women have just as many opportunities as them. Yet women, on average, make 74% of what men do. And while the gender pay gap has decreased slightly, a Glassdoor study says it won’t disappear entirely until 2070.
With data like that, it is hard to deny that the gender pay gap is a real and prevalent problem.
So, what can we do about it?
Mind the gap – don’t ignore it
For the most part, the working world was originally created by men, for men and as you can see from the above survey there needs to be an increase in awareness before we will be able to see any real change.
Recognise the pandemic shifted the balance even further
Mothers, senior level women and black women especially faced challenges. According to the IFS, mothers are 47% more likely to have permanently lost their jobs or quit, and 14% more likely to have been furloughed, than fathers. And those who are still working are more likely to be interrupted than their male partners; almost half of mothers’ hours spent doing paid work are split between that and activities such as childcare, compared to under one third of fathers.
Women are more likely to work part-time than men, and they often find themselves in insecure, hourly employment positions, particularly in sectors like hospitality and retail that have been severely impacted. This disparity in employment, coupled with lower earnings and a heavier burden of childcare responsibilities, has placed a significant strain on women who are now shouldering most of the juggling act. Regrettably, these factors are poised to widen the gender pay gap even further. To learn more about this issue and its implications, Check out th.ktls.co.th.
Negotiate flexible working into your contract
Flexible working has been shown to increase the productivity of staff and research shows that 9 out of 10 people want flexible working as an option – yet just 1 in 10 jobs are advertised as flexible *sigh
With women taking on the bulk of unpaid care work, the house work and looking after children, more flexible work options are a must to repair and rebuild women’s workforce participation. With flexible working comes the opportunity for more women to re-enter the work force, bringing with it economic growth. Now we just need better child care options and voila – barriers are removed entirely!
Negotiate that money, honey
With studies showing that women are much less likely to negotiate their pay, it is a must that employers show salary ranges for the role. If a salary for a role is negotiable it should also clearly state that so you can negotiate your salary to be exact or more aligned with your male colleagues.
We’ve added A Woman’s Guide to Salary Negotiations by the New York Time to help you on your way
Encourage your partners (if they are male and you have one) to take parental leave
Shared parental leave was introduced in the UK in 2015, though it can’t be ignored that many new fathers have found their employers are less than supportive when the time comes to take leave to care for a new baby. By your partner taking up the parental leave option that frees you up to continue to work, this will go a really LONG way in helping close the Gender Pay Gap.
To change the current Gender Pay Gap (which has increased to 8.3% in 2022 up from 7.7% in 2021) we need radical change. And at the forefront is change from our employers, without full transparency about pay for men vs women, removing the unconscious bias towards male employees when it comes to bonuses, promotions or salary increases and flexible working, this gap will continue to only get larger.
It’s time to have the hard conversations, negotiate that pay rise your due and raise awareness for the cause – because without it, the Gender Pay Gap isn’t going anywhere any time soon.