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Let’s get to the root cause of the gender pay gap

by Karen Pearson News

Let’s get to the root cause of the gender pay gap

With the government’s gender pay deadline now behind us, already data is showing the average national pay gender gap is 18.4 per cent.

But before we completely get lost within the data and media around this, we need to step back and take a moment to really understand what this is telling us. This is that men are more likely to hold the roles that warrant a bigger salary.

The latest figures from HMRC revealed that men are four times more likely to hold the highest paying roles in the UK and women are over represented within junior levels or in certain paid roles or professions that result in low pay.

Let’s use this opportunity to really understand the root cause of this.

At its simplest form, it’s a failure of organisations to create workplaces that work for everyone – inclusive environments.

Why are women so under represented in senior roles?

Research is suggesting that the key reasons behind the gender pay gap are:

  • Lack of female progression in the workplace

  • Lack of flexibility in relation to role design within an organisation that limits opportunities for part time hours within senior roles

  • Lack of development and transition back into the workplace from maternity. Good, progressive organisations recognise that there are times women need to take time out of the workplace to start a family. Creating a support framework around these employees will ensure maternity leave is managed well and women still feel part of the organisation. Both the organisation and the employee benefit as the skills are retained, the employee still remains engaged, and with the right support e.g. coaching or mentoring, transition back into the workplace happens more quickly and those skills will continue to evolve and add value to the business.

  • Leadership Development Programmes that don’t support the balance of male and female qualities required in leadership read my blog This is a typical scenario that I see often within my coaching and mentoring practice, where a client still wants to build their career but doesn’t know where to start with balancing home, work and career commitments.

So, I see this the time to utilise this data and evidence and create a clear action plan to remove barriers across the workplace for women. Organisations can really get to understand why women are under-represented in senior roles and put the most suitable actions in place.

This is a real opportunity for businesses to tap into a broader pool of talent and skills.

As Peter Cheese, Chief Executive of CIPD, states: “This is an opportunity to shine a light on one of our most long-standing challenges in business and use the actions needed to make a sustained difference”.

Are you going to be one of the businesses prepared to make this step-change? It’s time to rethink, re-build our working practices and move on.

If you want to know more, please call me on 07514 919805 for a chat or email me at: The time is now, not tomorrow or next year.