Organisations with 250 or more workers have been obliged to publish data on the gap in pay between male and female employees on behalf of the UK Government.
Newly released government statistics from 527 UK firms has shown that men were paid nearly 65% more per hour at the high street fashion store Phase Eight and nearly 53% more per hour at budget airline EasyJet
Easyjet explained that the discrepancy in their pay structure stemmed from the fact that the majority of their pilots are male, who are better paid.
It said it is committed to getting more women in higher paying roles and has “a target that 20% of new entrant pilots should be female by 2020”.
A statement on the Phase Eight website said: “The figures result from the fact that, as a women’s fashion retailer, the staff in our stores are overwhelmingly female, whilst our corporate head office staff (whose pay rates are typically higher) are more evenly split between men and women.”
“We are confident that women and men are paid equally for doing the equivalent jobs across our business.”
The report found that nearly half of the organisations pay men at least one tenth more per hour than women.
Employers with low or no gender pay gaps include the British Museum and the armed forces which were both 0%, the BBC reported.
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In the coming months, thousands of other companies and public sector bodies are expected to publish their own data on this issue.
Will anything change?
Some argue that making companies publish their pay by gender won’t help change the systemic issue.
In November last year a report from Cranfield School of Management found the number of senior women in British boardrooms has barely changed in the last 10 years.
It found that the proportion of women holding the most influential non-executive positions on the boards of the UK’s top companies was just at 8% – only a 2% rise from 2007.
However, it did find that women on the boards of directors of FTSE 100 companies has now reached 27.7% – up from 11% in 2007. Regardless, the issue is still glaring.
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Women in tech
“The current figures revealed in relation to the gender pay gap show that there is still a long way to go until we achieve pay parity in the UK,” said Gordon Smith, Head of UK, Hired. “All too often in the tech sector we are seeing men receive higher salary offers for the same job title, at the same company, than their female counterparts. Not only do we risk discouraging talented women into roles in tech, but we could lose the ones we already have.”
“Employers need to be honest about the gap within their business, and take action. They must remove the unconscious bias that plays a huge part in creating a gender pay gap. This can be done by using data to make compensation decisions based on someone’s ability and worth, rather than human judgement.”
“Collectively, the tech industry must also ensure women know what they should be paid, as historically women have been unaware that they were underpaid. This knowledge should be used to create a fairer working environment for all, and this is something we are addressing at Hired.”