With the deadline for businesses to publish details of their gender pay gap only a few months away, only 400 out of the 9,000 businesses have published their figures so far. With a whopping 96% still yet to do so, should we be worried that this slow approach may reflect the attitude towards making a change to the gender pay gap?
The gender pay gap is at its lowest percentage since the government started surveying in 1997, with women being paid on average 9.1% less than men. However, despite their commitments to close the gap within a generation in 2015, there has been minimal signs of improvement. Add this to the delay in companies providing their figures, it begs the questions as to whether companies are willing to be proactive in eliminating or at least reducing the pay gap.
Of the 4% of companies that have already reported their figures, the median gender pay gap is coming in at 5.8%; over a third less than the national average. 60% of those companies, including IT company, Fujitsu chose to publish a statement, explaining their figures and any plans they may have. Fujitsu’s gender pay gap averaged at 16.7%, which may seem high, but is considerably lower than the average pay gap for the tech sector at 25%.
The main problem for such a gap in the IT sector is predominantly down to the fact that there aren’t enough females choosing IT as their career path, and therefore a lack of females in senior roles. Fujitsu have said that the remedy to this is “to attract more girls into STEM subjects. Build robust talent pipelines, celebrate female role models and provide a stronger management support to enable women to succeed” in the IT sector.
Chris Charman, Principal at Mercer believes however that the responsibility of the gender pay gap can’t be solely down to the employer, and asks for the government to step up their efforts. One of the main things that Charman shines the light on is the lack of parity for parental leave, with My Family care research showing that 4 out of 10 employers did not provide paternity leave for fathers. This has a massive knock-on effect to females, and the lack of parity in parental leave will always result in females struggling to be in progressive career.