Eight out of ten UK businesses pay men more than women, with a national wage difference of 9.4 per cent, according to research conducted by the BBC. The wage difference, based on the difference in pay between the middle-ranking woman and the middle-ranking man, remains the same level as five years ago, at almost 10 per cent, despite the many efforts to promote gender equality in the business sphere.
The largest difference surfaced from the banking and finance industries, where women earn on average 22 per cent less than their male colleagues, and only saw the gap lessen by 0.5 per cent over the past five years. The data comes from 13,992 employers publishing their gender pay gap figures online in a government initiative to make companies more transparent around pay.
Major corporations, such as easyJet, Lloyds Bank and Savills, were identified as the main culprits for the difference as they appeared to set unambitious targets for getting women into senior positions.
Commenting on the research, Sheila Flavell CBE, Chief Operating Officer for FDM Group, said: “Talk and pledges are one thing, but it is clear that not enough action is being taken to address gender pay gap issues in the workplace as well as opportunities for progression, particularly into senior positions. It is important to acknowledge that solving the gender pay gap will not happen overnight, but with a dedicated approach to diversity, equity and inclusion, businesses can close the gap over the next 5 years and avoid a repeat of these figures.
“Women are founding more businesses across the UK, a hugely encouraging step for gender equality, and are receiving more support to do so, but existing companies must also recognise their lack of diversity and inclusion and tackle it.
“New targets must therefore be set in an attempt to diversify workplaces and promote inclusive cultures, and more training should be offered upon entry-level to see women enter fields they would previously shy away from.”
Other traditionally male-dominated sectors, such as construction, have narrowed the gap by 2.7 per cent, which was better than most technology companies, yet saw women earn 78p for every pound a man earns. The research also revealed the difference widening within several sectors including education, which increased by 0.9 per cent.