Equal Pay Day: From today women effectively work for free for the rest of the year

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Equal Pay Day: From today women effectively work for free for the rest of the year

Today (14/11/19) is Equal Pay Day as it marks the day women stop getting paid during the year compared to men due to the gender pay gap, which comes ten days after Disability Pay Gap Day which marks the same except for disabled employees compared to non-disabled workers.

As Jeanette Makings, head of financial education at Close Brothers, a UK merchant bank said “progress is being made” as the Office of National Statistics (ONS) reported that the average mean gender pay gap in the UK has decreased to 13.1 per cent. However, a gender pay gap still remains as the Fawcett Group, a UK charity that campaigns for women’s rights and gender equality has said at this speed it will take 60 years to put a stop to the gender pay gap.

Close Brothers has released its employee-based ‘Financial Wellbeing Index’, which found that women are twice as likely to worry about meeting their day-to-day living costs compared to their male counterparts.

It also showed women perform worse than men across all areas of financial wellbeing.

Professor Sir Cary Cooper, wellbeing expert at ALLIANCE Manchester Business School, University of Manchester said:

It is quite right that the campaign for pay equality continues its march onward, but similar priority should be given to the financial wellbeing imbalance. Female employees must be given access to the necessary tools and guidance to bring their financial wellbeing levels up.

Despite men and women having access to similar financial education, we are seeing it having very different outcomes. This really underlines the importance of understanding the specific needs of employees rather than delivering a one-size-fits-all strategy and hoping that it works.

Gumtree jobs have released a report in preparation for the day which focuses on ‘Hidden Heroes’. This is a new term that focuses on the workforce which has a large gender pay gap which showed that hospitality and catering came in top with a gender pay gap of 25 per cent followed by retail and Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) with a 24 per cent gender pay gap.

Computing and IT has the smallest gender pay gap at 6 per cent.

A spokesperson for Gumtree said:

The Equal Pay Day report has revealed concerning figures about the gender pay gap, and worryingly, our research suggests that there is an even higher gender pay gap amongst the UK’s Hidden Heroes. Female workers in the low-income jobs are earning less than males in every industry in the report – even in sectors which are female dominated. These women are earning on average 16 per cent less than their male counterparts; a lot of work needs to be done to close this gap and employers must look at their entire workforce, whether that’s low, mid or high-income earners.

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2 Comments - Write a Comment

  1. The whole ‘gender pay gap’ issue is deeply disingenuous. The reason that men, on average, in full time jobs, earn more than women, on average, in full time jobs, is because in many cases they do very different jobs. Practically all of the world’s dangerous and dirty jobs are done by men – nearly everyone who works on site in the O& industry, commercial divers, septic tank cleaners, demolition people, deep sea fishers, tanker captains, ‘blue collar’ workers in construction, manufacturing, engineering, etc, etc are all male; and all of these jobs can be very highly paying and this influences the ‘salary gap’.
    What is really interesting is that in those countries which have promoted equality and diversity the most – Scandinavia for instance – the job choices are more extreme rather than less extreme. In Sweden and Finland for instance practically all the nurses are women and practically all the engineers are men. So the easier you make it for men and women to make a choice, the more they revert to stereotype. They don’t follow the choices expected of them by the people driving this agenda. The ‘problem’ of course is that engineers earn more than nurses. Not sure what you’re going to do about that.
    Not a single article, news feature or tv discussion remotely begins to acknowledge these simple facts.
    If you have a male and a female doing the same job in the same company then of course their salary should be the same, and it mostly is due to legislative protection in all western countries. No sane person would argue with this. But to say that men and women across the entire economy should earn the same without recognising the vastly different choices they make in what jobs they take up is equally crazy.

  2. Regarding Financial Well Being. We have c350 employees. 80 of those are part time, all of which are women. They work part time because they WANT to work part time. In fact, if we suggest that a certain (vacant) role is full time there is frequently an adverse comment that it should be do-able on a part time or job share basis. These comments almost invariably come from women.
    Part time employees earn less (in total terms, not per hour) than full time employees in the same role. This may go some way in explaining why “.. women are twice as likely to worry about meeting their day-to-day living costs compared to their male counterparts..” – it’s because they take roles on hours that mean a lower income. Lower income = more worry about making ends meet.
    WHY women want to work part time (all FWR’s seeking to reduce overall working hours in our orgn are from women, so far anyway) is not within the employers’ control. My suspicion is that this is a wider societal issue.
    Employers cannot fix society, neither can they be expected to.

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