This is my take on the impending deadlines for UK companies with over 250 employees to publish what their gender pay is.
Firstly, I think anyone of sound mind wants equality and equal opportunity for men and women to reach their potential. I will never argue against that and anyone who does is living in the past.
However, I have found the coverage of the gender pay gap misleading. Hopefully, the misleading articles are by mistake and not part of an agenda to mislead the general public into a situation where they are trying to foster a culture to potentially use equality as a cover for inequality.
Firstly, my issue with the gender pay gap is that it is a very simplistic and unscientific way of showing a potential pay difference between men and women.
It has been law that men and women are paid equally for the same job for over three decades yet the media is advertising these results as women being paid less than men for the same role. This is categorically incorrect and misleading.
There are numerous factors that effect the gender pay gap. These include the proportion of men and women working part time, length of service, performance, experience and most importantly a companies internal pay structure.
These are just a few factors that potentially effect the gender pay gap. If we went through every reason there could be hundreds of factors that contribute to the gender pay gap.
Another key area we must look at is the current age range of most senior leaders and executives at most companies. Traditionally the majority of these have been in the role for a long time or have been with the company for many years. This is a hangover from a previous generation where unfortunately sexism did hold women back. Proportionally there are fewer of these roles available and they become vacant less frequent we have not yet seen the changing dynamic of more women in senior roles. However, over the next couple decades as we start to see a changing of the guard we will inherently see more women given the opportunity to become executives. This will massively impact the structure and breakdown of the gender pay gap.
My final thoughts on this is that the media has a responsibility to publish facts and give context to these results. Without this we risk the danger of companies hiring men or women to senior (or any level) roles simply to bring their general pay gap to as near to zero as possible. All companies, no matter the position available should hire the best candidate in my opinion. Gender, race, sexual orientation or anything other than their skills should not determine who companies hire. This is the true goal of equality. To look at all candidates equally and judge them solely on their skills and experience rather than something like gender for example.