My Column

its a man world and its not fair.

  • Date: Monday 29th August 2016
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Back in February, I discussed the notion of ‘Womenomics’ in this column. It’s an idea founded on the belief that women’s pay will overtake men’s by 2020 – yet there is still evidently a long way to go.

For those who haven’t heard of it, Womenomics describes the growth of society and the advancement of women’s purchasing power within that society.

Earlier in the year, I specifically highlighted a report that looked at Scotland and the issues that needed to be addressed around this shift in financial power.

Some of it made for shameful reading – indeed, it highlighted a gender pay gap of 17.5 per cent.

Fast forward to August 2016 and the statistics are even more shocking. The Chartered Management Institute (CMI) has reported that the gender pay gap in Scotland stands at 29.2 per cent - a £10,862 gulf between female employees and their male counterparts amounting to the worst gap in the UK.

The CMI report follows findings from the Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS) which said that women in the UK returning to work after having a baby tended to fall even further behind men in earning power. It reported that the gap between hourly earnings of the two sexes became steadily wider after women became mothers.

Over the subsequent 12 years following childbirth, it’s thought that women's hourly pay rate falls 33 percent behind men's. The IFS says this is partly because women who return to work often do so in a part-time capacity and miss out on opportunities for promotion.

I find it absolutely scandalous that in 2016 millions of women still suffer a motherhood salary penalty.

This also goes for work bonuses with Scottish women suffering a gap of 63.8 per cent between themselves and their male counterparts - equivalent to £3,336.

Compounding the issue, the CMI found that men across the UK earned much more in senior roles. In the ranks of director and CEO, men are on an average basic salary of £131,673, earning £16,513 more than women at the same level.

The question has to be why Scotland continues to suffer such a disgraceful pay gap when statistics for the UK as a whole have remained largely unchanged at 23.1 per cent?

The CMI thinks that the gulf in pay is down to the difference in promotion rates. The data collected from 60,000 employees showed that, for employees that have been with a company for the past five years, only 39 per cent of women were given a promotion, compared to 47 per cent of men.

The gap drastically increases when looking at more senior roles with 54 per cent of male senior managers receiving a bonus compared to 38 per cent of females at the same level of seniority. At this level, men command an average bonus of £22,687 compared to women’s £13,699.

I’ve mentioned Equal Pay Day in this column before and yet again it’s something to discuss. Equal pay day fell on 12 April this year meaning women had to work an extra 102 days into the year to earn what their male counterparts earned in the previous year which is shocking.

Last year, the UK Government said it would introduce new legislation in April 2017 to tackle the gender pay gap, including making it compulsory for large companies - with more than 250 staff - to report how much they pay their male and female staff.

So what happens now? Well, even before the new regulations kick in, employers need to get on board with reporting on their recruitment and promotion policies and how much they pay their male and female employees. The regulations will affect 8,000 UK employers and they must publish their gender pay gap on their websites.


In other words, there is nowhere for gender inequality to hide.


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