I read with interest your report on the Women and Work Commission’s recommendations for how to close the gender pay gap (Personnel Today, 7 March). Something I found surprising was the recommendation that women should move away from clerical roles. To us, this is a
The Council for Administration (CfA) represents 5.3 million administrators working in the UK. We agree that gender segregation needs to be stopped, and we actively encourage the drive to attract more men into this area.
Despite being described as a lowly paid sector, a recent survey into skills in business and administration revealed that women working in the administration sector earn more than men in similar roles. Unfortunately, this pay gap only applies to job roles up to level four, at which point the pay gap switches in favour of men. We are addressing this by defining progression routes for women and encouraging employers to invest in more training.
It is predicted that an extra 1.5 million administration roles will be needed by 2012. Add to this the need to replace older workers who are approaching retirement (about 25% of the administrator population) and you are left with a huge number of vacancies to fill.
I, therefore, find it confusing that the Women and Work Commission advocates that women seek alternative employment.
We understand that there is an urgent demand for engineers and construction workers, but the CfA feels that the administration sector should not be overlooked. Our survey results reveal that 97% of employers agree that the admin function is critical to the effectiveness of their organisation, and 95% of administrators say they are happy in their role. This seems to indicate that it isn’t such a lowly sector after all.
Senior marketing & communications officer, Council for Administration