I was out jogging this weekend and my mind was roaming as it normally does and I started to think about ways that I could raise awareness around pay inequality and resolved to look-up when equal pay day was this year, with a view to doing a 5k run in support of the Northamptonshire Rights and Equality Council (NREC) who are my local equality champions.
The Fawcett Society nominate Equal Pay Day every year as the day after which, on average, women start to work for free, this year it is November 10th, they say:
The current gender pay gap means that women effectively stop earning relative to men on a day in November. This day is referred to as Equal Pay Day and varies according to the actual pay gap each year - in 2016 Equal Pay Day is the 10th of November. This is only one day later than last year.
I'll be doing my 5k on Sunday 6th November and, through my involvement as a Director NREC, I'll be encouraging others to do their #EqualPay5k during that week and use it to promote the issues on social media.
Equal pay isn't just a gender issue, there is a national BME pay gap, an LGBTQ+ pay gap and a disability pay gap, and if you look at all of these gaps, for older employees they are higher. Ending the pay gap isn't about saying that everyone's the same and can and should make the same contribution, it's about recognising difference and different contributions but valuing those contributions equally. Therefore alongside groups representing minorities I would also hope that faith groups would support #EqualPay5k as all major world religions hold that we are all of equal value - I will asking my church family to support my #EqualPay5k.
All decent employers aim to reduce these gaps so I would hope that they would encourage their employees to do their #EqualPay5k and support them by fund matching their sponsorship. I've previously blogged about the issues around the gender pay gap and how it might be addressed and you can read that here. Trade unions and educational institutions also have an interest in supporting pay equality - in fact we all do; all of us would benefit from living in a society where we valued one another equally regardless of gender, race, sexuality, disability or age.
I would ask you all to do an #EqualPay5k running, walking, cycling or even swimming and to collect sponsorship for NREC who do an amazing job advancing the interests of minority groups. You can sponsor me here.
As the gender pay gap closes Equal Pay Day gets later and later in the year - I pledge to run my 5k every year in the week around Equal Pay Day until I've ran it on New Year's Eve!