Want to know exactly how much more men earn than you? Want to know what you can do about it? Read on, dear poorly-paid readers. Read on
Welcome, one and all, to #EqualPayDay 2015. We’d have bought balloons (and maybe a cake), but unfortunately – due to large scale inequality and pervasive sexism in offices up and down the country – womankind can’t still can’t afford either of those things. (Plus we didn’t manage to get to the shops in time.)
OK, OK. We jest, we jest. But here’s the actual deal with #EqualPayDay: The pay gap still exists. And it still affects you.
Yep, even in 2015, women across the UK in full time employment earn 14.2 per cent less than men.
That doesn’t mean every woman earns 14.2 per cent less than her male colleagues. But it does mean that women – as a total, employed group – have an average yearly income, which is 14.2 per cent less than that of men, as a total, employed group.
And that means #EqualPayDay matters to you, even if you’re totally loaded, and have replaced your bedframe in favour of
‘Equal Pay Day on 9th November is an opportunity to highlight that we still have a long way to go in closing the gender pay gap,’ Sam Smethers, Chief Executive of the Fawcett Society tells marie claire. ‘We welcome the government’s announcement that companies will be required to publish their gender pay gap, but it should go deeper. Alongside publishing a headline gender pay gap figure, employers should also explain how they got there, and set out an action plan to tackle it. Addressing women’s lack of progression at work and opening up senior roles to flexible and part-time hours would make a real difference.’
She isn’t exaggerating. As it stands, if nothing changes, it will take over 50 years to close the gap. Meaning that if you’re in your 20s or 30s right now, you’re likely to lead your entire adult life with the risk of earning less than your male friends, relatives and colleagues.
That’s why, if we want to change things and see the benefits, we need to act fast. Sam believes that the Government should be bolder in terms of demanding female representation on boards. ‘Ending all male boards for the FTSE 350 is actually quite a modest ambition,’ she explains. ‘We should be asking why some companies can achieve 40% or more women on their boards while others have none. A time-limited use of quotas would overcome some of these entrenched barriers and speed up change.’
HOW YOU CAN HELP CLOSE THE GENDER PAY GAP:
- Take a deep breath, and smash the stigma that surrounds salaries by having a conversation at work about how much you – and your colleagues – earn
- Ask your boss if they know about the new regulations (which are due to come into force next year), requiring organisations with over 250 employees to publish their gender pay gap figure.
- Write to your MP and ask them what they, and their party, are doing to close the gender pay gap
- Make your own pledge for equal pay day using #paygappledle – tweeting or instagramming exactly what you plan to do, or what you think should happen, in order to reduce the Pay Gap.