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Gender Pay Gap data: early analysis pay gap reporting looks disappointing

Jon Boys

Analysis from CIPD found: The headline median figure in the gender pay gap has got slightly worse – rising from 9.2 percent to 9.6 percent – a year on year change of 0.4 percent. Contributor Jon Boys, labour market economist – CIPD,

The difference mean figure has slightly improved from 13.4 percent to 13.1 percent in the gap. The proportion of organisations paying women less than men has got slightly worse, increasing from 77.10 percent to 77.79 percent. The UK’s largest organisations (20,000 or more employees) have the lowest median gender pay gap at 7.6 percent.

Regional analysis
There are marked differences by region with the suggestion of a North/South divide. The median is lowest in Scotland at 5.7 percent The South-East and South-West are the highest, both standing at 11 percent median hourly gaps. London’s gap is 10.4 percent.

Voluntary reporting
352 organisations have less than 250 staff and therefore submitted their gender pay gap information voluntarily

Industry analysis
The highest median gender pay gap exists in Construction (24.35 percent) followed by Finance (23.9 percent).

Some industries, such as hospitality, have very low gender pay gaps (a median of 0.6 percent) – this may be because of the high proportion of both men and women on the minimum wage. 

Positive change
Gender Pay gap positives – There has been a slight increase in the average proportion of women in each wage quartile, with particular movement in the upper middle and upper pay quartiles which typically have a greater proportion of men. 

Providing a narrative on the data
The Government’s Gender Pay Gap viewing service shows that a URL to information on the gender pay gap is available for two-thirds (66 percent) of organisations – although the presence of a URL does not mean that an organisation has necessarily created a narrative on their figures.

Pay gap analysis
The CIPD is urging organisations to be more transparent about their data, why the numbers are what they are and what they are doing to reduce their gender pay gap moving forward. 

Peter Cheese, chief executive of the CIPD, the professional body for HR, comments: It’s disappointing that many employers are still not providing a narrative or action plan.  Organisations that simply provide their numbers are failing to meet the increasing appetite and expectation for transparency amongst all stakeholders, including employees, investors, and regulators. Financial figures would never be given without any explanation for them, and gender pay gap reporting should be no different.

“As we head into the third year of gender pay gap reporting we need to see more of how organisations are responding and the actions they are taking.”

On the increase to the gender pay gap, Cheese comments: “Some of this may be from businesses initially focused on bringing more women into entry-levels roles in order to build a pipeline of female talent. This is a genuine commitment to lasting change and we must welcome these efforts even if it does mean the numbers do initially go up instead of down.”

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