A new survey from leading job site Glassdoor shows that companies that fail to pay men and women the same will struggle to recruit female talent in the UK, but that a focus on diversity, gender balance in senior leadership and women’s networks could attract both female and male job candidates.
“The gender pay gap is set to be a major issue in the UK this year, not least because employers are grappling with the challenge of how to analyse their own data and there is a relatively low level of understanding amongst the workforce about what causes the gap,” said Andrew Chamberlain, Glassdoor Chief Economist.
“Both male and female employees want more transparency around pay, and companies that offer this will have the advantage when it comes to recruiting. Simple gender pay gap reporting doesn’t give any real insight unless people know what the causes of the gap are or if men and women are paid equally for equal work. We know that men and women can be paid differently for doing the same job, both in the UK and other countries too.”
Dr Chamberlain’s separate study, based on Glassdoor salary data, found that women in the UK are paid 5.5 percent less than men, even after controlling for differences in age, education, experience, industry, company and job title.
Figures from Glassdoor’s survey also reveal that a significant proportion of employees (44 percent) mistakenly believe that workplace discrimination is the main cause of the gender pay gap. In actual fact, only around one-third of the gender pay gap in the UK is down to factors such as workplace bias and discrimination, whereas two-thirds can be explained by differences in worker ‘characteristics’ or the way that men and women tend to enter different jobs and industries.
Employees Want Transparency
Glassdoor’s report shows that the working population was found to be supportive of greater transparency around pay. More than half (58 percent) of people said they think the Government should force employers to reveal employee salaries, in order to combat unequal pay. Furthermore, two-thirds (65 percent) of people believe that employers which embrace salary transparency can help eliminate the gender pay gap, and that more than a third (38 percent) of men believe that the gender pay gap will not close until parents share the role of raising children more equally.
Understanding and Negotiating Pay
More than one in four (27 percent) of working adults say that they do not have a good understanding of how people are paid at their company, and almost half (49 percent) of people wish they knew what was fair pay for their job. In addition, forty-one percent of people think that they will need to get a new job in order to get a pay rise.
Only one-third (33 percent) of working adults wish that they had negotiated harder on salary when they started their job. When broken down by gender, the differences are surprisingly small: 35 percent of women expressed this view, compared to 31 percent of men.
Appealing to Job Candidates
Fifty-one percent of employed women (and 37 percent of men) would be more attracted to work at a company if it had a strong diversity programme. Forty-eight percent of employed women (and 24 percent of men) would be more interested in a company if it had a professional development network for women. Finally, forty-four percent of employed women (and 23 percent of men) would be more attracted to work at a company if the Senior Leadership Team was at least 30 percent female.