Advanced search

Gender Pay Gap - what next for me?

(16 Posts)
boxoftoads Wed 21-Mar-18 23:26:04

Looking for some thoughts/help/next steps with this, I'm also wondering if anyone else has had any experience.

The gender pay gap data that was published recently for UK companies shows that there is a large gap between males and females in my company.

There is also a lot more males than females. As a female it means I'm probably being paid a good bit less than my colleagues but on paper (quals, experience, team size etc) I'm either equal or better.

I want to be able to challenge this, so apart from the obvious, are they going to do about it, does anyone else have any additional advice?

UpstartCrow Wed 21-Mar-18 23:30:28

Have you asked for a rise recently? Would it put your job at risk to do so?

W0rriedMum Wed 21-Mar-18 23:37:18

It's a difficult one. Many of my friends are in similar positions but have basically shrugged as they don't see how they can change it. They tend to work in major multinational corporations where pay rises are yearly and supposed to be based on performance.

On the other side, the same friends have seen an increase in headhunters calling them because the brief seems to be HIRE WOMEN hmm

Whatever you do - leave, ask for a raise - don't do nothing.

boxoftoads Wed 21-Mar-18 23:44:29

I haven't asked for a rise, I did get one at the end of 2017 but that's linked to performance.

Salary data should be private, so I'm saying do I have any legal rights to challenge or the right to find out the level of detail that I need to be satisfied?

Leaving isn't an option and I don't want to have to think about a threat - I'd rather it was a conversation first.

Agrona Fri 23-Mar-18 01:08:53


Mouthtrousersafrocknowandthen Fri 23-Mar-18 01:23:30

Law society guidance
Equal pay is a legal obligation. Specific rules apply to ensure that men and women are paid comparable amounts. There should never be a difference in the pay of a man and woman doing work of equal value that can be explained in terms of difference in their sex.

Employers must also ensure that discussions about equal pay are protected. No one should be victimised following a request for information about pay for the purpose of making a claim of discrimination with regards to pay (based on any protected characteristic).
Equal work
The Equality Act 2010 sets out three ways in which an individual’s work can be determined to be equal to that of another employee:

Like work - if their work is broadly similar and the differences that do exist are not of practical importance in relation to the terms of the work. Practical importance refers to something that people do in practice as part of their job (such as additional responsibilities they have or skills they bring to bear on their work) and not just something in their job description. When comparing two employees using this criterion, it is important to consider the frequency with which differences in work occur in practice and the nature and extent of those differences.
Of equal value - if the work of each employee is equal in terms of the demands made on them. These demands should reflect factors, such as effort, skill and decision-making, level of responsibility, knowledge and working conditions.
Rated as equivalent - this occurs if a job evaluation has rated two jobs as equivalent. It is important to note the job evaluation must itself be non-discriminatory. An evaluation that, for example, placed less weight on attributes commonly associated with female roles could not be used to justify treating two different jobs as inequivalent.
A person wishing to make an equal-pay claim must select another person to compare their work with. The person they compare themselves to is called a comparator. Employers have no say in an individual’s choice of comparator when the individual makes a claim. The comparator needs to be a real person and not hypothetical.

A comparator could be:

someone the person making the claim currently works with
the predecessor in the claimant’s job
someone the claimant used to work in the same employment with before a TUPE transfer to the current employer
An individual may claim equal pay with someone who works:

for the same employer at the same workplace
for the same employer but at a different workplace, where common terms of employment apply
for an associated employer
for another employer in the same establishment or service, particularly if there is a common source for the decisions about pay (ie the difference in pay is attributable to one source) and there is a single body able to adjust pay gaps.

OvaHere Fri 23-Mar-18 01:24:10

As a female it means I'm probably being paid a good bit less than my colleagues but on paper (quals, experience, team size etc) I'm either equal or better.

Can you use what you have stated here as an opener to that conversation?

Are there other women in your company that are in the same predicament? If so could you get together as a united front?

I don't really have any experience to offer in this area but it sounds like you are in a strong position to challenge.

Good luck with it.

Mouthtrousersafrocknowandthen Fri 23-Mar-18 01:38:06

The gender pay gap is really an indicator of female representation. The large % gaps are there when the senior roles are occupied by men and women do the jobs lower down. This is known as occupational segregation and is somewhat structural.

In many companies the lower paid admin role are all women, and senior execs can be commonly only 20 to 30% women.

It will be impossible to close the gap completely for most corporate companies as men don't do the lower paid jobs in that environment, in that pay range they are in different occupations, trades, engineering etc. and not working in offices in the numbers women are. The pay gap starts in the middle, where men move ahead while women take time out for maternity leave (generalising). It's also historical, women of my generation and older started work when the proportion of women in careers that could progress to the top was much much lower than now, that's why the top is still so sparse. And sadly it is going backwards in occupations such as economics because women's voices are not esteemed in the same way as men's are by men.

Your own pay is an Equal pay question, and is based on the protected characteristic of sex, not the dreaded gender word. So you can ask for comparators for people doing equal work as above. Your company is likely doing an equal pay analysis too, to be prepared. Ask them if they are?

Agrona Fri 23-Mar-18 08:31:34


Elendon Fri 23-Mar-18 12:47:48

You need to be assertive and not to think at all that this will impact on your progression. Be feisty and be bold in stating your case. You sound brilliant.

I also want to add good luck. flowers


Mouthtrousersafrocknowandthen Fri 23-Mar-18 13:08:04

Employers must also ensure that discussions about equal pay are protected. No one should be victimised following a request for information about pay for the purpose of making a claim of discrimination with regards to pay (based on any protected characteristic).

There is a huge spotlight shining on this now. No-one should feel afraid. We are watching.

HairyBallTheorem Fri 23-Mar-18 19:16:31

OP - PM me if you want. My then employer's own pay audit showed we had a 10% pay gap (IIRC, as Mouth says, some of it can be structural - lots of men in more senior positions - but generally speaking a 10% gap is deemed to be "something worth worrying about"). A group of us took action with the aid of our union - eventually went to ACAS. I'm very grateful to some of my male colleagues back at the time, who put themselves forward as "comparators". Comparators don't have to be doing precisely the same job as you, just a role deemed to be of equal value (and requiring similar levels of qualifications/training) to the role compared against. (Again, IIRC, in the original case that opened the way to equal pay legislation, the Dagenham workers argued that their work as sewing machinists was equally skilled and of equal value to the company as the men working in the paint shop).

However, it will be incredibly hard (if not impossible) to do on your own - you really need trade union backing. Also (you may want to post in legal) I believe the law has been changed since my case: you can no longer bring "class action cases" as far as I know; each case has to be fought individually (not that the Tories are trying to make it too expensive for unions' legal funds to fight this sort of thing, oh no!)

HermioneWeasley Fri 23-Mar-18 20:09:47

There is a big different between the gender pay gap (a new requirement to report this annually) and the right to equal pay for work of equal value (a statutory right and you can pursue a claim at employment tribunal)

EasyJet have a gender pay gap of 48%. This is because 95% of pilots are men and most cabin crew are women and pilots are paid more than cabin crew because it’s a more difficult job. There’s no reason why women can’t be pilots, but for a myriad of reasons it’s not a career they choose in significant numbers, hence the perfectly lawful gender pay gap. If easyJet paid its female pilots less than its male pilots, then that would (potentially) be a breach of equal pay.

jelliebelly Fri 23-Mar-18 20:19:08

Yours is not a gender pay gap issue but an equal pay issue - they are different things.

I successfully challenged a previous employer when I found out that a colleague hired to cover my role whilst I was on mat leave was getting paid £10k more than me - they increased my pay by £10k! I did have email evidence of that though.

You can’t outright ask colleague (or HR) what male colleagues are paid but you can research what the market rate for your role might be - what makes you think they are getting paid more than you?

TheLastSoala Fri 23-Mar-18 20:23:54

The published gender pay gap tells you nothing about the pay of you peers. Look at the senior representation in your company, are there more men. They will be paid more. Look at the lower skilled roles (e.g reception staff or catering), are there more women? They will be paid less.

Your male peers may be paid more, but unless your company have broken down their gender pay to that level you cannot draw any conclusions.

Having said that, there are lots of reasons why you might be paid less than male peers. And you should always push to be as valued as possible.

I highly suggest Lean In by Cheryl Sandberg to understand how gender roles play out in the work place, and for loads of fantastic advice on how to improved your standing and remuneration.

boxoftoads Fri 23-Mar-18 22:03:25

Thank you thank you thank you.

Sorry I haven't responded sooner, I've been travelling and attending Diversity training.

I'll read all of the posts back when I'm near a notepad, it sounds like I have lots to do. The male/female split is very heavily weighted as male as you go upwards in the organisation.

I'm querying the possible pay gap as I'm privy to pay a grade below me and further down as I budget, set pay rises etc. I can see it in that data but I can't then say - is it the same for me then?

I have a copy of Lean In that I haven't managed to read grin will crack on!

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: