Four in 10 private companies that have published their latest gender pay gap are reporting wider gaps than they did last year, according to BBC analysis.
The BBC looked at a company’s median pay gap – that is the difference in pay between the middle-ranking woman and the middle-ranking man.
This is different to unequal pay – paying women less than men for the same work – which is illegal.
Big firms with a wider pay gap include Kwik Fit, Npower and Virgin Atlantic.
Stockport’s Work & Skills Commission
Stockport has a Work & Skills Commission headed up by Richard Mortimer at Stockport Council. One of their aims is to make Stockport a flagship of the Good Employers Charter for GM which includes an emphasis on connectivity between schools and enterprise. The group are working to try to influence educational choices and careers advice by improving links to employers (and individual business mentors). Frank Robinson at CDL, who sits on the board, is working with Stockport School to encourage more females down the STEM route.
Only about 10% of employers have reported their latest figures so far, ahead of the 4 April deadline for the private sector.
Of the companies that had reported by the morning of 19 February:
- 74% report a pay gap which favours men
- 14% have a pay gap favouring women
- 12% report no pay gap.
“Closing the gender pay gap is not a quick fix, and employers may take time to see their gap close as they implement long term action plans,” the Government Equalities Office said in a statement.
The BBC’s analysis refers purely to private sector firms which had gender pay gap data and a consistent registration at Companies House for April 2017 and April 2018.
According to the available data, the gender pay gap at energy giant Npower has grown from 13% to 18% since it last reported.
It partially attributed this to more female than male employees opting for a salary sacrifice benefits scheme.
Stockport based Grassroots Recruitment carried out a 2018/19 Salary Survey where statistics revealed that pay scales for jobs often considered to be gendered tended to be lower in those predominantly undertaken by women compared to Manchester City Centre (such as secretarial and HR).
Grassroots Operations Director Caroline Patten, who also sits on the Stockport’s Work & Skills Commission commented:
Much like elsewhere in the UK, the gender pay gap is still an area where Stockport has scope to improve.
We have a high proportion of technology, digital, engineering and professional services firms based in the borough, where occupational segregation is typically more common. We also have fewer females in managerial or board level roles, as well as a large discrepancy in bonus pay.
Statistics from the Stockport Salary 2018/19 revealed that pay scales for jobs often considered to be gendered tended to be lower in those predominantly undertaken by women compared to Manchester City Centre (such as secretarial and HR).
However, the report also highlighted areas where Stockport is leading the way. Local firms are more likely to offer flexi-time as a standard benefit, as well as more opportunities for part-time or job-share roles.
There seems to be a clear commitment from Stockport employers across all sectors to overcome cultural biases by creating quality flexible jobs that are more attractive to career-driven women and men.
Cathy Bates, managing director at Essential Personnel commented:
“It doesn’t surprise me that the pay gap has widened since figures were first published last year as a wide gap is going to demotivate your existing female workforce. Disparity in pay between men and women isn’t something that’s going to change overnight – women are more likely to go into lower paid, part-time roles because of childcare commitments, and men are still much more likely to push for higher salaries at interview or negotiate pay increases.
“There are also still persistent attitudes, both among employers and the wider workforce itself, in terms of gender stereotyping for certain career options. Certain higher paid professions such as engineering, IT and sales remain the preserve of men. If employers can encourage more women into these disciplines, this will not only narrow the gender pay gap but also help fill skills shortages in these areas that are likely to only get worse after Brexit.”