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My Company's equal pay review

(42 Posts)
thatstoast Thu 30-Mar-17 20:44:07

On average, men get paid 14% more than women at my company. They hold reviews every few years and the conclusion for 2016 is:

The gender pay gap is not due to women being paid less for work of equal value, but because women occupy higher proportions of the lower grades, with men occupying more of the higher grades.

However they've decided that factors such as promotion and the impact of family and caring roles are outside of the scope of the review.

It feels like a big waste of time writing a 50 page report when the outcome is "yeah men get promoted more than women but shrug"

Feeling very despondent about it all.

HerRoyalNotness Thu 30-Mar-17 20:54:16

Surely they should have been comparing like for like. So women on abc grade and men on abc grade. And ensuring first that they are paid equally. And then address the equal opportunity for advancement

Shenanagins Thu 30-Mar-17 21:00:36

Your company has posted its gender pay gap which is different from an equal pay gap. It is perfectly possible to have a gender pay gap but no equal pay issues.

Tackling the gender pay gap is very difficult and your company is recognising some of these contributing factors.

Penguin27 Thu 30-Mar-17 21:01:26

women occupy higher proportions of the lower grades, with men occupying more of the higher grades.

This appears to be the problem!

thatstoast Thu 30-Mar-17 21:16:46

No, they're not recognising the contributing factors. They've specifically said those factors are outside of scope of the review.

Surely if the information points to the fact that women aren't getting promoted then you should investigate why? Rather than point to the fact that they get paid the same as the men who don't get promoted.

Shenanagins Thu 30-Mar-17 21:23:49

Why women are not getting promoted can be a tough one to tackle and if they are relatively new to gender pay reporting then they will still be at the rabbit in headlights stage.

There are no easy solutions or quick fixes in tackling the gender pay gap, it is complex and will take years if ever to accomplish.

ceeveebee Thu 30-Mar-17 21:43:47

Gender pay gap reporting will be compulsory for all large business after next month, so we'll see a lot more info coming out, but on average it's about 18% across the UK and a lot of companies will be saying the same as yours - it's not that women doing the same job are paid less than a man- the problem is that in many companies, women occupy fewer of the higher paid positions.
My employer (tech company) is trying to encourage more women to come into tech with various initiatives such as increasing the proportion women in the graduate and apprenticeship intake for entry level developer roles and supporting women to remain in the workforce in the peak drop-out years of 30-40 when many women decide to put their careers on hold. And targets such as the Hampton-Alexander report asking FTSE350 companies to target 33% females in senior management and one level below by 2020 will help.

QuentinSummers Thu 30-Mar-17 21:50:25

It's so frustrating.
It's not news that fewer women reach management positions. It's not news that women's career progression tails off after children. There is reams of research about how women are subtly and not so subtly disadvantaged by work systems and structures. And yet attitudes like this supporting women to remain in the workforce in the peak drop-out years of 30-40 when many women decide to put their careers on hold. still prevail suggesting it's somehow women's choice not to progress.

thatstoast Thu 30-Mar-17 21:57:03

I'm really not expecting them to fix the problem overnight. The annoyance stems from the fact the information they've reported is, as Quentin says, not new information. Our company follows a pattern that is repeated in numerous other companies. However, they've decided that as, within individual grades, men and women are paid roughly the same then no further investigation is needed. Major cop out really.

Also just found out they might be cutting the onsite childcare, so things are likely to get worse.

olderthanyouthink Thu 30-Mar-17 22:01:13

Comparing all men's salaries to all women's salaries is a bit iffy isnt it, if should be people doing similar jobs at similar levels, right? But that misses out the fact that women aren't being promoted equally?

I'd love to see this done in my company, digital media agency, but we are small.
My team, the development team, would be 5 men vs me (excluding our -male- manager). The creative team would be 3 men vs 1 woman (maybe 2 guys as one of them is Lead something-or-other). The content team is all men (3/4) and PMs are all female (2).
The company structure is pretty flat so I guess you could compare people from different teams but its really male heavy, so I guess it could get skewed easily.

Did they have to do race and disability too?

Shenanagins Thu 30-Mar-17 22:05:45

Quentin, women are subtly disadvantaged way before work. It is so insidious that it all seems perfectly normal.

ceeveebee Thu 30-Mar-17 22:07:43

If there was a gap when comparing pay for same job they'd be breaking the law. Whereas this is about the unconscious/conscious bias and other barriers preventing women from occupying higher paid jobs.

Don't have to report the pay gap for race or disability as yet - but likely to happen in future years - there is a government recommendation that all FTSE350 companies should have at least one non-white director by 2024 so its definitely on their radar.

cheminotte Thu 30-Mar-17 22:14:12

There have been two cases recently at my work where a senior man has left and the position has been given to a woman, but on a lower grade. So on paper she is earning the same as men on that grade but the post has been downgraded. One of these posts also lost some perks, I mentioned this to the woman and she said 'I don't care about those things' . But other people notice and think the person / role is less important than the previous person / role.

thatstoast Thu 30-Mar-17 22:15:03

They have reviewed Race, Disability and Age. People without disabilities get paid 7% more than those with. BME employees get paid 3% more than white employees but we have a very small number of BME staff.

I'm putting together some thoughts together to email to the relevant people involved in the report.

Shenanagins Thu 30-Mar-17 22:40:22

What kind of thoughts - just curious?

I would caution going in all guns blazing as this really is a complex issue and will take a great deal of commitment and to address this as it really requires a fundamental cultural change.

I would suggest looking at some of the more progressive companies webpages to see what actions they are taking- the big 4 are a good starting place.

I would refrain from going down the route of unequal pay, these figures don't evidence this all it could mean is inequality of opportunity but this may be within the organisation or at a societal level- most likely both.

ceeveebee Thu 30-Mar-17 22:47:54

If you can actually read these they may be of some use to you

ceeveebee Thu 30-Mar-17 22:48:37

They are from a big 4 accountancy practice, not my employer

thatstoast Thu 30-Mar-17 23:03:21

Have I given the impression that I want to go in all guns blazing?

My main point is they should investigate why men are disproportionately represented at higher grades.

Shenanagins Thu 30-Mar-17 23:08:27

No you haven't and I was merely trying to give you some pointers that may help you get somewhere.

thatstoast Thu 30-Mar-17 23:17:11

Ok, it seemed an odd turn of phrase in the context of the conversation. I'll check out some of the info that you and ceeveebee have referred to.

scottishdiem Thu 30-Mar-17 23:29:33

What is the solution that companies can do if female staff do leave to have kids? Pay inequality when doing the same job is just horrendous but 5 more years experience, for example, can be quite the difference in recruiting senior staff.

Also depends on the sector. My senior management team is mostly female including CEO (who replaced a male).

EBearhug Fri 31-Mar-17 02:36:50

What is the solution that companies can do if female staff do leave to have kids?

Less experience can make a difference, but women are still often paid less than male colleagues, even when they haven't taken time out for children. It's not like ability is that important in many workplaces, given how many incompetent managers there are around.

Also, a lot of women drop-out in their 30s and 40s because maternity leave or redundancy forces them to reconsider things like work, and quite a few think, "I hm just can't be arsed to fight it any more, I'm going to do something different instead." I think this particularly happens inmale-dominated areas like tech, because the cumulative effects of all the little micro-aggressions does add up.

Although there is no sexism. My white, male manager told me so last week.

thatstoast Fri 31-Mar-17 07:53:37

What sector are you in, scottishdiem? Do you think your company is representative of the sector in terms of female dominance in SMT?

I think, as a country, we need to look at why sometimes women find having children incompatible with employment or, more often, incompatible with career progression.

Good news about the end of sexism though, ebearhug. I bet you were happy when your manager announced that one.

ChocChocPorridge Fri 31-Mar-17 08:05:38

"I hm just can't be arsed to fight it any more, I'm going to do something different instead."

This factor is huge. I fight with myself on it every day. My life could be great if I gave up work - I'd have free time, we'd all eat better, the kids would love it.

But - I do love what I do (even though some days it feels like an uphill struggle), and it's so risky to give up a career where recent experience is so key (I'm in IT) - should anything happen to DP, or DP's job we'd be totally stuffed.

QuentinSummers Fri 31-Mar-17 09:57:02

Yes ebear. I'm considering it myself right now. I'm exhausted from fighting.
It's too easy hand wring and say "oh what can we do if women choose to drop out?" And then do nothing.
I've had children for all bar a year of my working life, I've fought and fought to be equal and flexible so I get the same opportunities as men, and guess what? It just doesn't happen.
Women's personalities don't fall out when they have kids, if work was important to them before it will be again. Employers and society as a whole could do a lot to make things easier for parents at work and to encourage men to do more parenting but they won't because the status quo is too comfortable for them.
As you can probably tell I am very angry about this. We spend girls childhoods conditioning them to follow the rules and work hard for rewards, resulting in girls getting better exam results etc then in the world of work suddenly following the rules penalises you vs colleagues who dont follow the rules and working hard us no guarantee of success, especially not if you are female. It's a massive con.

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