The gender pay-gap: myth-busting

This week saw the deadline for UK employers with 250 or more employees to publish their gender pay gap data. Over 10,000 businesses reported payroll figures comparing the average pay of men and women within their organisation. At first glance, it isn’t pretty. A whopping 78% of the companies that reported have been revealed to be paying men more than women, on average. Only 8% claimed that they have no gender pay gap at all.

Of course, a gender pay gap is not a definite sign of pay discrimination, but it’s certainly a red flag. The shocking disparity of pay between men and women in the same organisation speaks to a number of concerns we’ve been addressing in our work at the WBG since our inception. Issues around the unequal distribution of care work, the gendered division of labour within the workforce and ultimately, the type of work that we value and reward within society, have all been brought to the fore.

Although the legislation doesn’t actually force employers to do anything about their pay gap, the increased transparency that reporting brings has fuelled a welcome debate about how we’re supporting different groups in society towards fulfilling, fair and rewarding opportunities and work for all.

By making such data public, businesses will have an opportunity to benchmark their pay structures against others and to analyse them in detail, perhaps for the first time. Let’s hope that companies take this opportunity to look at how they can address the structural inequality that means that women earn on average £223,000 less than men over the course of a lifetime.

Despite all the recent press coverage, the gender pay gap is something that continues to confuse and confound, with people either not sure exactly what the figures mean, or why they matter. With this in mind, we thought we’d do a little gender pay gap myth-busting!

Read the full blog post on our website -



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