Fewer than one in seven UK companies paid woman more than men on average last year, and there was no economic sector that paid women more. The figures were revealed at a seminar on tackling the gender pay gap, which took place at Leinster House earlier this month.
The results of the British data also found a large gap in bonus pay. One employer – the University of Liverpool – gave men 90% more in bonuses than its female staff received.
Emer Bucukolgu, manager and reward consultant at Innecto Reward Consulting, said new UK regulations on gender pay gap reporting, which apply to employers with more than 250 staff, leave “nowhere for companies to hide.”
She said media coverage had brought the issue to the forefront of public consciousness by naming and shaming organisations. This had forced management boards to tackle the issue.
Last month, Fórsa criticised the Government for stalling the introduction of similar legislation in Ireland.
The Leinster House briefing, which was organised by the new cross-party group on workplace equality in partnership with Dress for Success Dublin, attracted a large crowd including Fórsa reps.
Gender pay gap reporting in the UK is based on a single snapshot date, where organisations of 250 employees or more report the difference in the average hourly rate of men and women’s pay, including bonuses. Hayley Barnard of MIX Diversity Developers spoke about how to close talent gaps within organisations, and said flexible working was a key driver in female recruitment.
She also debunked the perception that equality is a HR issue. “Equality begins in each person’s state of mind,” she said. “Therefore, it’s up to communications to emphasise the importance of women in the organisation.”