Although the UK’s gender pay gap has been steadily closing and is now sitting at its lowest ever level for full-time employees (17.3% according to the ONS) – with the 18-39-year-old pay gap leading the way – the reality is that women are still paying the price for not being men in the world of work.
Women effectively work for free for 63-days of the year compared to the average man, which means as we work our way through March, most women are only just starting to get paid for their work in 2020.
Publishing gender pay gaps is not enough, so in a bid to encourage employers to make a change, global workplace provider, Instant Offices, has delved deeper into the issues of pay by gender in the UK and has shared six steps that can be taken to bridge the gap:
Incentivize paternity leave
Businesses can be made more female-friendly by incentivizing paternity leave for dads. If fathers have additional paternity leave, mothers can return to work sooner, work more hours and earn more money, while allowing fathers more bonding time with their newborns.
The cost of childcare can be stressful for many families, with an average cost of part-time childcare being up to £6,000 a year. However, according to research, companies providing childcare services saw reductions in employee turnover, increased productivity, and improved quality in job applicants.
Introduce remote working
In today’s digital world, remote working is becoming more acceptable and accessible to millennial workers, although parents can also enjoy the benefits of working from home. According to the TUC, flexible working has real benefits for businesses, with employees proving to be more dedicated and productive.
A survey by Ernst and Young, 64% of working women who enjoyed flexible working hours claimed to have a clear career path compared to 10% of women who worked fixed hours.
Be transparent about pay
Being open and transparent about how much you pay your staff, whether listed in the initial job description or the interview, is a good starting point. Businesses should research market rates for a role and offer a fair salary for the job they are hiring for. It is also a good idea to explain how your business determines salaries and pay increases upfront so that the candidate can make an informed decision about joining your company or not.
Ensure that promotions and rewards are fair
The disparity in pay can easily occur when employees are offered promotions, pay raises or bonuses. Putting in place clear and concise criteria for promotions, pay raises and bonuses will help keep things fair.
Give female employees a raise
Giving female employees a raise can eliminate the gender pay gap in the most pain-free way. Equally, it provides the best strategy for businesses to continue operations with minimal disruptions and additional pressure.
More women than men tend to work part-time jobs (30 paid hours a week or less) in an attempt to balance career and family responsibilities. These positions normally have lower hourly pay than full-time jobs (more than 30 paid hours a week) and are more likely to be in lower-paid occupations.
For this reason, the gender pay gap is higher for all employees than for each of full-time and part-time employees. The gender pay gap among full-time employees in the UK is currently at 8.9%, declining just 0.6% since 2012.
Which Occupations Have the Largest Gender Pay Gaps?
In 2019, the gender pay gap among full-time employees declined in 7 of the 9 main occupation groupings. The biggest drop occurred in professional occupations, while the biggest increase of the gap was seen in management and senior positions
Currently, the UK jobs with the 5 largest gender pay gaps are:
- Carpenters & joiners (44%)
- Energy plant operatives (41%)
- Dental practitioners (39%)
- Aircraft pilots &flight engineers (36%)
- Financial institution managers & directors (33%)
The 5 smallest occupational gender pay gaps can be found in:
- Archivists & curators (-35%)
- Other drivers & transport operatives (-25%)
- Personal assistants & other secretaries (-25%)
- Counsellors (-22%)
- Hairdressing & beauty salon managers & proprietors (-15%)
About the author: Established in 1999, The Instant Group is a global flexible workspace specialist. Underpinned by unrivaled expertise, Instant tailors unique solutions to help businesses of all sizes to grow, drive savings or gain invaluable insight. With offices in London, Berlin, Dallas, New York, Hong Kong, and Sydney, The Instant Group employs more than 100 experts and has clients in 113 countries