A recent move by the UK government to address the gender pay gap in the country has revealed that 78% of companies in the United Kingdom (UK) have a gender pay gap.
The government made it mandatory for UK based companies to publicly report their employees' salaries by April 4. The objective behind this exercise was to study the gender pay gap and see if public exposure would help push companies to resolve their gender pay gap problem.
Companies with more than 250 employees were required to submit their salaries before close of day on April 4. The response has been pretty good and over 10,000 companies reported their salary info.
The result was that around 78% of employers reported a gender pay gap. The research not only brought the gender pay into the spotlight but also the pay of company executives.
euronews (in English)
Overall, the reports show a troubling insight into which industries suffer from the most gender pay discrepancies. Airlines have been highlighted as the one with the largest discrepancies. Ryanair reported a 71.8 % pay gap in its employees. According to calculations, when comparing median hourly rates, when men earn £1 men, women just get 28p. The airline blamed this on the fact that it had a lopsided amount of male employees, with 546 male pilots to eight female ones. Budget airlines like Ryanair and EasyJet are prone to this problem because their pilots are male, while much of the crews are mainly women.
Other industries that face a gender pay gap are soccer clubs, fashion brands, and financial firms. All these industries have a common problem which is a lack of women in senior positions. With men being disproportionately promoted to higher positions, some often cite it as the reason for the gender pay gap. Data received from Goldman Sachs and HSBC confirm this.
UK Will Look To Lessen Gender Pay Gap
As for a comparison between the various companies, the main difference in gender pay gap is around 9.7%. The data did reveal that 14% of the companies paid women more, while around 8% paid their employees equally. After these reports, the main question is how to move forward.
Airlines state that they plan to bring more female pilots on board to help close the gender pay gap. However, not everyone is optimistic. Sports clubs are historically dominated by men, as few women pursue a career in sports.
In a statement, Rebecca Hilsenrath, the chief executive of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, said
This legislation is in place to bring about better gender equality in the workplace and any employer not complying needs to ask themselves tough questions, rethink their priorities, be prepared for serious reputational damage, and be ready to face a very unhappy workforce