Employers’ ability to prove that they offer equal pay for women is becoming
increasingly important in the battle to attract the best people.
This was the view of Julie Mellor, chair of the Equal Opportunities
Commission, speaking at the Women in Leadership summit in London. She said
equal pay is becoming "a competitive issue in the war for talent".
Mellor told delegates that feedback to the EOC suggests that one of the
obstacles to gender equality in the workplace is that many men are threatened
by changes to traditional gender roles.
Work-life balance consultant Richard Reeves, also speaking at the event,
added that the jury is still out on how best to sell gender diversity to
He said one of the reasons for the continuing pay gap between the sexes is
that the business case for closing it had not yet been achieved.
"The business case is too narrow a ground to base a case for gender
diversity. The ethical case must be made," Reeves said. "I would
rather say, ‘is there a gender equality case for business?’ instead of ‘is
there a business case for gender equality?’."
Reeves also stressed that employers should not overlook the rights of
working fathers in the battle to improve equality at work for women.
"There is also a downside of focusing solely on women’s workplace
issues, such as a lack of rights for working fathers," Reeves said.
"Until the spotlight comes off women, I believe that they [working
fathers] will have to continue to fight for equality."
By DeeDee Doke