David Cameron may be happy for our children to grow up into a world where women still get paid less than a man, for doing exactly the same job as a man, but I am not. Nor, I have no doubt, are the vast majority of men and women in modern Britain. 60% of doctors in the NHS are women. With its regressive, discriminatory contract, the government seems hell-bent on driving us away.
on Monday WE launched this tragi-comic video showing women marking the unhappy new year--the new female earning year--to draw attention to a persistent inequity, a gender pay gap that endures almost 46 years after the Equal Pay Act received royal assent. Such campaigns raise awareness but much, much more needs to be done.
The bigger return for employers and for the UK economy is clear with £600 billion being added to the value of the economy if we close the gender pay gap. We have the best educated, best qualified female labour force we have ever had. And yet we are wasting that talent and investment as a result of poor, shortsighted (and sometimes illegal) practice. Definitely time for a game-changer. Let's hope the Government rises to the challenge.
Employers have a responsibility to ensure this is happening in the workplace and that there is an environment where both sexes feel comfortable pursuing career progression, as this can only have positive results for business leaders. Those that are able to recognise the challenges felt by workers of both sexes and work to address these will ultimately benefit from a happier, more stable workforce and an improved employer brand which helps them to attract the best talent.
The AAT study suggests that the reasons are highly complex and often linked. While there is criticism about the kind of information that the government wants to see published and the lack of any analysis or context to it, it is surely a step forward. It is hard to deal with a problem in the absence of hard data, even if the data itself needs to be subject to analysis.