Fairygodboss

What do you think would happen if companies were required to publish what they pay women vs. men? You don’t have to think too hard...because it’s happening.

A new law is requiring companies in the UK to calculate and publicly disclose the difference between how much their male and female employees make. Employers will compare the average and median hourly earnings for men and women, both with and without bonus factored in. All companies in the country will have to report their findings on their websites by April 2018.

In anticipation of this new law, some British companies have released reports indicating they have pay gaps of up to 36%, which is reportedly twice the national average of just over 18%.

According to The Independent, Virgin Money, a bank, has revealed that its male employees earn 36% more than women on average, while at asset manager Schroders, men earn 31% more than their female counterparts.

The Independent points out that Virgin Money’s findings aren’t totally off base within the financial services industry (where the pay gap is 34% on average) and also points out that “by other measures, the company is ahead of some of its peers: four of its 10 corporate directors are female, including its chief executive.”

Still, the company has realized its wage gap is in part due to the fact that there are not enough women in senior roles at the company and there are too few men in customer service positions. “As a result,” The Independent reports, “men make up 67 per cent of the best-paid employees and just 26 per cent of lowest-paid.”

Matt Elliott, the company’s people director, has acknowledged how problematic these inequities are and says he’s resolved to make sure the company better supports women so they can rise to higher level positions.

At Fairygodboss, where we’re all about increasing transparency in the workplace, we crowdsource information to maintain a salary database and also provide a salary calculator via Payscale to help job seekers find out whether they’re being compensated fairly. Needless to say, we recognize that this UK law is game-changing in that it will likely encourage employers to become more self-conscious about how women perceive their company culture.  

Moreover, when women have access to this kind of data, they’ll feel more negotiating a raise, asking for a promotion, or advocating for more equal work conditions overall.

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