According to World Economic Forum (WEF) report, 2016, the gender pay gap will take 170 years to close. Appalling or unbelievable? While some have been rubbishing the claims of gender pay gaps and some others blaming it for lack of ambition in women. BBC’s disclosure on the payouts to its stars confirm the claims by WEF report. This despite the equal pay legislation in most of the countries.
BBC’s revelation has sent triggers down the entire corporate world. What started as a mandate from the govt to make public the payscales of the stars, revealed 2/3 of its stars earning equal to or greater than £150,000, are men. The gender pay gap is real and mammoth. The backlash that followed is also real. The magnitude of the gap is what has brought BBC into the limelight for wrong reasons.
Reactions to BBC’s revelation
The backlash followed. The women personalities in the channel have publicly urged the Channel to “Act now”.
The men across the world are divided in their opinion. The reaction of some of the men supporting / in defense of the pay gap is
Sir Philip Hampton, a City grandee working to remove barriers preventing women from rising to senior business posts, came under fire after he told the Evening Standard he had “never, ever had a woman ask for a pay rise”. In effect blaming women for the gender pay gap.
Columnist, Kevin Myers lost his job as in his column he mentioned the two top women earners as Jews and went on to say that women were generally paid less because they were worthless. He also argued that the gender pay gap existed because “men usually work harder, get sick less frequently and seldom get pregnant”. He had to let go his job despite the apology next day.
Tom Chambers, comment that men have wife and children to support, did not go down well and in his apology he mentioned that his comment has been taken out of context.
The light in the tunnel
Earlier this year, UK govt has made it mandatory for companies with more than 250 employees to publish their gender pay data latest by April 2018. This move is towards more transparency and to fight the workplace discrimination caused by the gap.
In March 2017, Iceland became first country requiring businesses to prove that they are offering equal pay to their employees.
What does this mean to the corporate world?
- Get real. Accept that there is a gap.
- Get into analytics. Calculate the gap. The gap may not be only in gender but in other minorities too.
- Get the Top management involved.
- Start working towards more equitable pay across the board.
Time to get into action and get going on being an equal opportunity employer before the legislation catches on you.