Are We Finally Closing The Gender Pay Gap*

*This is a collaborative post*

The UK has been reported to have the fifth largest gender pay gap in Europe — with a larger pay gap than Portugal, Slovakia and Switzerland. According to 2017 figures, the gender pay gap between males and females in the UK was still 20% — this meant that, by October 16th 2017, the average male had already been paid a women’s entire year’s salary. Worryingly, the UK’s gender pay gap is worse than the average gender pay gap across the whole of Europe.
In an attempt to gain equality in the workplace and show transparency, by April 2018, companies that employ 250 employees or more will have to publish gender pay figures. The BBC is one organisation which has already had to release the salaries of its employees who earn more than £150,000 — and an organisation that proved there clearly is a gender pay gap in the UK. The highest paid female employee at the BBC was Claudia Winkleman, Strictly Come Dancing host, earning £500,000. A considerable amount. However, when you consider the highest male earner was Chris Evans, radio DJ and ex-Top Gear presenter, earning £2.2 million, there is a significant difference!
And it appears, a similar pattern is apparent in other industries, too. DCS Multiserve, specialists in industrial cleaning, outlines which industries have the worst gender pay gaps in the UK, and compare figures with previous years to investigate if we are making improvements to close the gap.

Which industries are the worst culprits?

The industries which tend to have the largest gender pay gap are those which have a workforce predominantly of one gender. Over 80% of companies are said to pay their women employees less than their male employees. The construction industry, in particular, is a male-dominated industry which has led to a significant gender pay gap. The average male in the industry earns up to 45% more than their female counterparts! However, the same can be said for midwifery, a predominantly female industry – female midwifes on average can earn around 62% more than their male counterparts.
Financial managers and directors gender pay gap also favour men, with women generally paid up to 36.5% less than men — and the same for journalism, with a gender pay gap of 7.2%. The same pattern is also shown for solicitors where females earn around 14% less than men, pharmacists where females earn around 12.6% less than men, and nurses who earn around 1.5% less than men — despite nursing being a typically female dominant role. Whilst in some roles women are paid more, when you look at the industry as a whole, no sector pays women more than men.
And it is not just average salaries which appear to be higher for men — they also receive on average 25.2% higher bonus payments, too.
With the deadline set for companies with over 250 employees to publish their salary figures by April this year, 527 firms have published their figures already. EasyJet was amongst the companies with the largest gender pay gap. At the company, women’s hourly rates are 52% lower than men’s — a reason for this could be the male to female ratio in the higher paid jobs compared to the lower paid jobs. Only 6% of EasyJet’s UK pilots are female — a role which pays around £92,400 annually on average. However, of all UK cabin crew staff, 69% are female which pays an average annual salary of £24,800.

Are we making improvements?

Whilst the UK still has the fifth largest gender pay gap, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reveals that our pay gap is at the lowest it has been since records began. London used to have the smallest pay gap in the UK, but whilst other regions have worked to improve their gender pay gaps, it appears that the capital has stood still. However, over the last two decades, the average gender pay gap in the UK has decreased by 9.1%.
In 1997, the average gender pay gap was 17.4% when the ONS first collected data — but despite the progress, industry professionals believe the improvement is too slow and that the government need to be putting pressure on companies to close the gap sooner.
Frances O’Grady, general secretary of TUC, commented “The full-time gender pay gap has inched a bit smaller. But there is still a chasm between men and women’s earnings. At this rate, it’ll take decades for women to get paid the same as men.
“The government needs to crank up the pressure on employers. Companies shouldn’t just be made to publish their gender pay gaps. They should be forced to explain how they’ll close them. And those bosses who flout the law should be fined.” 

*Contributed on behalf of DCS Multiserve. All photos sourced from Pexels.

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