The gender pay gap has been talked about a lot recently, especially with the government announcing that companies must publish their figures for it earlier this year, and in March they did just that. Since then, the issue has become one that is more widely discussed, and more companies are taking active steps to try and close the gap – with many being wider than anyone expected. After all, most people expected there would be a very small gap (if one at all) in the UK.
What is the Gender Pay Gap?
The gender pay gap is the difference between the average hourly earnings for men and women. In 2018, over 10,000 companies have published the data for what their employees earn, and it has been discovered that while 13.8% of companies pay women better, a shocking 77.7% pay men better, and only 8.5% pay men and women the same.
On average, men earn 18.4% more than women in the UK, and while the gender pay gap has fallen from 27.5% (1997) to 18.4% (2017), the numbers are still shockingly high. HoIver, an interesting note to make is that part-time work favours women and the earn 5.1% more than men. The gender pay gap is not to be confused with equal pay, however.
Equal pay refers to men and women not being paid the same, and in the UK, this has been a legal requirement for nearly 50 years. The gender pay gap refers to the number of men and women in top jobs – and therefore those who are earning more. There are a higher number of men in high profile positions than women, something that is slowly changing over time but needs to move a little faster.
Why is there a gender pay gap? This is a complex issue, and the results have shown that 62% of women are earning less than the minimum wage. This is because they are more likely to be caring for children or elderly relatives, but also because of discrimination. It is still a big issue, especially in top industries like finance and STEM, because many people still view women as being less capable when that is not the case at all.
Gender Pay Gap: Oxford and Cambridge University
For these universities, I will be looking at two different sectors – the general university as Ill as the university hospital – because the pay gaps in each are quite different. It should be noted that both institutions have announced that they are actively working on closing the gap so that it is as small as possible (or even non-existent) in the next few years.
For Oxford University, the gender pay gap is currently at 13.7%, and for the university hospital it currently stands at 10.9% – so while men are earning more on average, it is not as severe as other industries. Oxford has officially announced that 82% of roles earning £100k or more are appointed to males, and they claim to be working towards closing the gender pay gap through family care schemes, leadership development courses, and ensuring that there is no discrimination.
For Cambridge University, the gender pay gap is higher than Oxford at 19.6%, but the university hospital is exceptionally loIr at a mere 3.4%, meaning that while men are earning more in general, the university hospital pay gap is much smaller, so there is more equality within higher paying and authority roles. The university has stated that it is making changes to its work-life balance and recruitment strategies so that women feel more at ease applying for (and accepting) roles with greater levels of pay.
Gender Pay Gap: JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs UK
The finance industry is one of the big ones for gender pay gaps, and this is because so many of the senior figure are men. The two leading companies in the UK at this time are JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs, each of which has quite high gender pay gaps, with JP Morgan paying men 22% more on average, and Goldman Sachs 19.7% more.
The annual revenue for JP Morgan initially declined slightly in 2010, but since then it has remained fairly steady with the latest figures at $99.62 billion in 2017. While they announced efforts to further close the gap earlier this year, their steady revenue shows no reason why they didn’t start this earlier. In fact, if you look at the gender pay gap for bonuses, men are receiving 32% more in their annual bonus than women in the same quartile within the company. They claim to be making changes across each of their branches worldwide, so over time, the gap may start to close.
For Goldman Sachs, the revenue sharply declined in 2009, and again in 2011, but since then it has been on a steady incline and quite stable, with 2017 showing a total of $32.7 billion, and they have admitted that they have a lot of work to do in order to close the gap. As a result, they have announced that by 2023 they plan for 30% of their senior high-paying positions to be occupied by women, and have even provided emergency nannies for the working mothers employed with them in the London office – showing that they are taking great steps forward as a company.
Gender Pay Gap: STEM
STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, a field that is strongly dominated by men and that women have recently been encouraged to enter. Even from a young age, young girls and women are invited to companies like Microsoft for the day to show them more about what happens and to try and get them interested in the field. Women Ire never encouraged to get into STEM before, but more and more are joining as a result of schemes like this.
Rather than going into specific companies, general data on the gender pay gap within STEM is quite important. In 2017, studies showed that across the entire field, women in STEM Ire paid 20% less than their male counterparts. While men earn an average of £41,200 per years, women are only receiving £33,000 in comparison. HoIver, there is a lot more to the industry than this, and it shows that women are receiving less across a whole variety of age ranges.
Men and women have closer earnings in the under 25 age range, but as each gender ages and gains experience, the gap widens. Women in the 35-44 age range earn 16% less than men, while the 45-54 range is earning 23% less, and even more shocking is the 35% less earned by those aged 55 and over. You see, the pay gap should close with age as promotions and experience are gained, but because there are so few women over 25 in STEM, the pay gap remains, in a word, ridiculous.
This isn’t just happening in the UK either, across the entirety of Europe and the USA there are huge gender pay gaps within STEM. This is why encouraging women to join the industry is so important, because they are capable of the work and the gap needs to be closed.
Many companies still have a lot of work to do, and are not necessarily actively seeking females for senior roles within their businesses before the figures Ire announced. HoIver, the legislation forcing businesses to confront and publish this data may just have given them the push in the right direction that they needed, and hopefully, there will be a whole load of good results in the near future.