• The majority of men and women agree that women should be ‘judged on ability, not appearance’
• Two-thirds of men want more women in ‘male-dominated industries’
• Full-time female employees earn on average £29,891 a year – nearly £10,000 less than males
By April this year, every company that employs more than 250 people must publish their pay differences. Interestingly, so far, only 595 businesses out of around 9,000 have done so. Of these, a fifth have revealed gender pay gaps of 20% or more in favour of men, including Clydesdale Bank (37%), accountancy giant PwC (33.1%) and asset manager Octopus Capital (38.1%).
With just a few months to go, Savoystewart.co.uk sought to investigate the issue of gender inequality by utilising two recently published reports by the Young Women’s Trust, a charity which supports and represents women aged 16-30 struggling to live on low pay or no pay in England and Wales.
Through an analysis of a recent survey consisting of more than 4,000 young people, by the Young Women’s Trust, Savoy Stewart discovered that women are considerably more likely than men to state issues as being important to achieving gender equality. Most notably, 87% of women compared to just 66% of men believe that having more women into ‘male-dominated industries’ will help achieve gender equality.
However, 95% of women and 89% of men both agree that judging women on their ability, not appearance, will help achieve gender equality in the workplace. This was closely followed by ‘employers and the media needing to do more to treat men and women equally’.
Other key factors to achieve gender equality included:
Perhaps the most saddening part of the research unveiled that a large number of young people in the UK think that “scientists will have discovered life on another planet by the time they are 40 than think there will be as many women as male MPs or business leaders”, or that gender discrimination will be a thing of the past.
Savoystewart.co.uk found the UK’s 15 million working women collectively are missing out on £138 billion each year (£137,682,320,000) – or £9,112 each – with the gap widening further when parttime work is considered. Thus, campaigners have warned women will face a “lifetime of unequal pay” unless urgent action is taken to close the pay gap.
Sadly, occupational segregation is occurring, where some industries become more attractive to men or women. Consequently, this begs the question that the gender pay gap will not improve if men and women continue to look for jobs in the same roles.
Therefore, Savoystewart.co.uk considered the UK’s 10 main occupations (determined by the ONS) and ranked their pay differences from the lowest to highest:
- Process, Plant and Machine Operatives – 6.8%
- Sales and customer service – 7.1%
- Skilled trades – 10.7%
- Caring, leisure and other services – 11.4%
- Administrative and secretarial – 30.5%
- Other managers and proprietors – 55.2%
- Associate professional and technical – 62.3%
- Professional – 112.5%
- Managers and directors – 114%
- Chief executives and senior officials – 240.8%
Managing Director of Savoystewart.co.uk, Darren Best, discusses his view on the matter:
“The gender pay gap is a major problem in the UK. Despite the fact the gender pay gap has been decreasing, and activism is paving the way for equality, it is still happening. This year, our research found it had increased by three per cent. Sadly, women in work today are earning over £1 billion less than men every year, which equates to £9,112 each.”
He added: “Closing the gender pay gap will not only benefit businesses, but also the economy, as well as women. But unfortunately, the gender pay gap will continue take place in the UK until a radical approach is taken to stamp out inequality.”
Young Women’s Trust chief executive, Dr Carole Easton OBE, said:
“100 years on from gaining the right to vote, women at work still face huge inequalities. They are more likely than men to be on low pay, in insecure jobs and to face sexual harassment. Discrimination, high childcare costs and gender stereotypes shut many women out of the workplace altogether.”
She added: “Progress is proving slow; at this rate, today’s young women will retire before equality in the workplace becomes a reality. 2017 was the year that women’s voices started to get more of a hearing. 2018 must be the year that people listen and act.”