The Gender Pay Gap & What you can do about it

With the recent revelations at the BBC regarding the Gender Pay Gap, that BBC Breakfast sofa was definitely more awkward this morning!! But this issue is obviously not all about the BBC – it is a relevant topic that affects so many.

Despite the Equal Pay Act over 45 years ago, women still earn less than men in equivalent roles today. This is illegal. Overall the gender gap in the UK still stands at 18.1% for all workers, or 9.4% for full-time staff.

Women can expect to earn significantly less than men over their entire careers as a result of differences in caring responsibilities, the qualifications and skills women acquire, a large amount of low skilled and low paid roles, and – bluntly – pure discrimination.

There are four main causes of the gender pay gap:

  • Men occupy more of the most senior roles
  • Unequal caring responsibilities
  • The divided labour market
  • Discrimination


So what is being done?

In 2016 the UK Government stated that they require all organisations of over 250 employees to publish their gender pay gap figure. Public, private and voluntary sector firms are now all required to disclose average pay for men and women, including any bonuses. About half of the UK workforce will be affected by the new reporting rules. This is around 9,000 employers and more than 15 million employees.

Companies that discover they do have a gender pay gap will be encouraged to publish an action plan alongside the figures detailing the steps they plan to take to address the problem. So, does this mean that smaller businesses shouldn’t try to shrink this pay gap? Absolutely not!

What else can you do as an Employer?

  • Address your recruitment process first, making it as gender-neutral and inclusive as possible.
  • Where possible make jobs flexible, part-time or a job share unless there is a strong business case not to.
  • Support women to progress to higher paid jobs.

What can you do as an Employee?

  • Have a conversation with your HR department about pay and ask what your company’s policy is on this issue.
  • Ask your employer whether they know about the new regulations which came into force in 2016.
  • If you feel you are being overlooked for a promotion unfairly, or not recognised for the work you do; Speak up. Put your facts together and have a meeting with your manager. Explain what you are worth. You are your best champion!!

Ultimately you have the power. If your employer doesn’t see the terrific value of women in the workplace, refuses to change and turns a blind eye; Vote with your feet.

For any further tips, or for assistance in making your next career move get in touch with our team. You can email us or follow Ben Johnson Recruitment on LinkedIn for all the latest updates, news, and vacancies. Just click on the button below.

Image credits: Cambridge News,

    Posted in Recruitment - 19th July, 2017





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