UK Gender Pay Gap reporting has been big news for the past few days. Reporting has been an important first step but tackling gender pay should be a long-term business priority. Now that the deadline has passed, attention should be focused on actions taken as a result. However, only 19% of companies have set out actions to redress, 5% have set targets and 30% published an explanation, many of which are superficial.
Reporting should not be a case of job done for another year. Now is the time to scrutinise underlying causes. Career choices, career stalling due to caring responsibilities, job design and flexible work, recruitment and selection, access to training, progressional pathways and occupational segregation. The idea that women opt to work in P/T or lower paid jobs does not recognise gender constraints or that many women are working below their skill level.
According to the Timewise Flexible Jobs Index 2017, the proportion of quality flexible jobs is low in all parts of the UK. People who work flexibly, particularly part-time, often get ‘stuck’ in their current roles, because there isn’t a flexible jobs market for them to go to. There’s a huge gap between supply and demand for flexibly advertised jobs and as salaries increase, flexible work options decrease.
Now that businesses have reported on gender pay gap, the question is what will they do about it?