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Hundreds of Large Firms Report a Wider Gender Pay Gap

  • by Career Moves Group
  • 20 Feb 2019

According to BBC analysis the reported gender pay gap has grown in 4 out of 10 private companies that published their gender pay gap last year.

Through analysing the median pay gap between the middle-ranking woman and the middle-ranking man and found that four in ten private companies have a wider pay gap this year than the previous.

Notable firms that have a wider pay gap include Kwik Fit, Npower, and Virgin Atlantic.

Of the companies that have reported their pay gap information by yesterday morning:

  • 74% report a pay gap favourable to men
  • 14% report a pay gap favourable to women
  • 12% report no pay gap

Overall, the median gender pay gap reported is 1.3% narrower across the 1,146 companies. Only circa. 10% of employers have reported this year’s figures which has resulted in a gender pay gap report of 8.4% compared to last year’s 9.7%.

Last year, legislation was introduced that obligated companies, charities, and public sector departments with 250 employees, or more, to issue their gender pay gap figures. Public sector firms must report by 30 March, and charitable and private firms by 4 April.

Over the year, the car mechanics chain Kwik Fit has grown from a pay gap favourable to women of 15.2% to 14% favourable to men. The company spokeswoman has detailed that the industry is ‘historically more appealing to men’, despite efforts to recruit more women. Following the release of the report, the spokeswoman continued to detail that most of their female employees were in the upper quartile of salary band, however the company has seen a number of these senior employees leave over the course of the last 12 months.

Npower’s gender pay gap has reportedly grown from 13% to 18%, partially attributing this growth to more female employees opting for a salary sacrifice benefits scheme than their male colleagues.

Whereas the airline and tour operator Virgin Atlantic gap widened by 2.6% from 28.4% to 31% in favour of male workers. A spokeswoman has said the firm is focused on achieving diversity across their roles, including engineering and pilot roles.

The gender pay gap differs from unequal pay – paying one gender less than another for the same work. A company’s gender pay gap can be caused by other factors, such as fewer women in senior or highly-paid positions, or more women in part-time jobs. This will skew the median and the mean pay gap in favour of male workers.

Dharshini David, the BBC’s economics correspondent has stated that ‘a large gap points to (typically women being clustered in more junior roles. Progressing them through the ranks could take years. Actually, if a firms’ plan includes recruiting more female employees at entry level, that can initially widen a pay gap.’

Chief Executive of the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), Rebecca Hilsenrath, has said that ‘we believe that it should be mandatory for employers to publish, alongside their pay gap data, action places with specific targets and deadlines.’ The EHRC enforces the gender pay gap and believes that forcing companies to issue their pay gaps is not enough to eliminate pay disparities.

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