The gender pay gap
According the Office for National Statistics the gender pay gap for female millennials is down to 5%. This is great news, but there shouldn’t be a gap at all.
We could go over old ground, discuss previous generations, the gaps gradual decrease and cultural changes but by doing that we really miss the main two issues.
- Why is this still happening?
- Why are women being penalised in their 30’s or for having a baby?
My colleagues made the point that if this was a race issue, a religious issue or the gender pay gap was reversed, people would be up in arms at the injustice of it. Instead, it’s a socially accepted double standard.
Fair enough if pay depends on experience, but as graduates fresh out of the academic system there shouldn’t be difference in pay due to the type of genitals possessed. And, the disadvantage only gets worse as women get older. If a woman has had a year off to have a baby, is this any different to a male taking a sabbatical, gardening leave or going travelling for a year?
This disparity makes me angry. Women have fought so hard to align themselves with men, to be equal. This barrier is yet another to break down. A headache from a previous generation that is disheartening for those starting and progressing their careers.
With human resources teams and institutions like ACAS, it’s hard to see how pay isn’t equal for men and women. Is this leaders at the top making this decision, do employers think men are better, or that they work harder?
Women make up 70% of the work force in public relations, but only 30% of the top positions. I wonder if the gender pay gap within this field varies as much throughout women’s lives. Do the men in the top positions earn outrageous sums of money compared to their female counterparts? It would be interesting to find out.
I looked into blog demographics and there are no clear, up to date figures, to show how many men and women blog. If you find some let me know. Do men get paid more in this field too?
According to Sysomos, a social media management tool, the gender split in blogging was fairly equal in 2010. As the blogging industry has expanding over the past six years I wonder whether these figures have changed as big blogging influencers, like Zoella, have emerged and become house hold names.
If more people bring attention and more awareness to this subject, hopefully pay will even out between genders. Legislation might help stop the gap. But, that then runs very quickly into grey territory where the ‘pay depending on experience’ argument can be used. I have no doubt any rule would be extremely difficult to monitor and enforce.
I’m hoping the recent press attention will bring the topic enough attention to make decision makers think and make an effort to stop gender pay gaps from occurring.
Do you have any gender pay gap experiences? If so, share them with me. Do you think there is a way to solve this? Does it start with legislation?
Here are some recent articles published about the gender pay gap that explain the situation far more eloquently than me!
- The Financial Times
- The Guardian
- The Independent