UK high ranking businesswomen launch campaign to close gender pay gap

A collective of 100 successful businesswomen have launched a campaign to put an end to the gender pay gap, called the #MeTooPay initiative.

The campaign is being led by Dame Moya Greene, the non-executive director of EasyJet and former CEO of the Royal Mail. Other well-known businesswomen have flocked to the campaign too, such as Dame Minouche Shafik, director of the London School of Economics and contender for the next governor of the Bank of England (BoE) and Emma Walmsley, CEO of GlaxoSmithKline, a FSTE 100 company.

Dame Moya Greene said:

Pay discrimination is more widespread than we had thought, even though we have had laws on the books for 40 years. We want to keep this issue alive.

Most companies have very good policies, but in many cases they are not properly enacted, nor are they always leading to good outcomes.

The movement was a reaction to a gender discrimination case including BNP Paribas bank employee Stacey Macken. An employee tribunal showed that Ms Macken’s salary was 25 per cent less than that of a male colleague. Even though the two shared equal grades for their workplace performance. Ms Macken’s first-year bonus was less than half of her male colleagues, this rose to a 85 per cent difference after three years.

In response to Ms Macken winning her claim for sexual discrimination against BNP Paribas, Dame Moya Greene said:

It is part of a series of high-profile discriminatory cases we have seen over the past 12 to 18 months. Pay discrimination is fundamentally a management issue, they decide who is going to be paid what.

The initiatives website will assist female employees with examples of pay discrimination, important court cases and allow women “to share good and bad policies in action”. It will also ask for input from compensation experts who can help in examining gender pay difference and negotiation experts who can help women obtain a higher salary.

Clare Balding, OBE and broadcaster, Dame Alison Carnwath, chairwoman of Land Securities, a commercial property development and investment company, Dame Jayne-Anne, former chief executive of Virgin Money from 2007 to 2018 and Baroness Dido Harding, chairwoman of NHS Improvement have also backed the campaign.

Dame Moya Greene explained why they have used a hashtag used for the anti-sexual abuse movement and said:

What we thought was that in the UK today, there is so much of importance going on that it is so hard to get ‘cut through’.

This campaign allows us to morph from the sexual harassment aspects of discrimination and move it into another area.