Gender pay gap explained: what the facts actually show

Dianna Christensen
April 6, 2018

Ryanair is one of the best-known company in the top 10 of those with the worst gender pay gap, along with the holding company for Millwall FC. And at WPP, the British advertising giant, women take home, on average, around one-quarter less than their male counterparts.

Iceland's government has vowed to completely close the nation's gender pay gap by 2022, after women walked out of their jobs en masse in protest on a chilly afternoon in October 2016.

Close the Gap, which works to address the causes of the pay gap, has said it is most concerned by the fact that only 19 per cent of employers have set out actions to address the issue, while just five per cent have set targets to reduce their pay gap. The disclosure prompted the news organization's high-profile China editor, Carrie Gracie, to resign from her post in protest at what she called the "secretive and illegal" pay culture at the publicly funded broadcaster.

"Any apparent pay gap is the result of the variety of jobs undertaken by men and women and the salary that these roles attract".

The UK government have forced any employer with over 250 staff, to reveal the various pay levels between males and females. "What we found out was, actually it's not about having more and more and more women, but it's having a balance of males and females which creates the maximum dynamic and creates a psychologically safe atmosphere". This means on average women earn 71p for every £1 that men earn.

It breaks down the pay between those at the higher end and those on lower salaries.

When female employees leave the workforce for one year or more, they make 7% less when they return, and have difficulty getting a promotion compared to an employee who's now working there and seeking the same job, PayScale's new State of the Gender Pay Gap report shows.

The mean bonus gap is 36.5%, although the median bonus gap is 4.7% in favour of women.

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The mean pay gap at Cohens Chemist - which operates more than 200 pharmacies across England and Wales - was 16% as of April 2017, it revealed in its gender pay gap report published last week (March 26).

They cover only about a third of all companies.

According to Office of National Statistics (ONS) figures, the gender pay gap fell to 9.1 per cent in the United Kingdom previous year.

"The pressing issue for those employers will be what steps, if any, they are seen to be taking to tackle this gap". But those figures are still likely to underestimate the real gap, critics say.

She insisted that the trust is "committed to gender equality" but suggested the NHS only began to see a higher number of female consultants graduating in the 21st century, while women still dominate the nursing profession.

Of the companies whose figures CSW investigated, the Civil Aviation Authority appeared to have the biggest gender pay gap, with women's average hourly pay 34% lower than that of men. "The process has begun though, and we are talking to two specialist companies to discuss the scope and potential timings for pay banding".

"But even better than that, finally women are realising that they have a right to talk about pay and they can not be silenced".

He added: "We believe in job opportunities for everybody regardless of gender, and will challenge ourselves to be more inclusive as a public organisation". "We have to show we're watching what happens next".

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