As the deadline for both private and public sector employers to report their gender pay gap passed, almost eight in 10 organisations paid men more than women.
By now all organisations that employ 250 people or more should have reported their gender pay gap to the Government’s gender pay gap service, following last night’s midnight deadline.
More than 10,000 employers had published their gender pay gap reports, which the Guardian said showed women were being paid a median hourly rate which, on average, was 9.7% less than male staff.
This included 1,658 public sector organisations, which were required to report their data by midnight on 30 March.
Home secretary and minister for women and equalities, Amber Rudd, said employers should see the requirement to publish their gender pay gap figures as an opportunity to “break down the barriers to women’s progression in their organisations”.
“Businesses should see reporting gender pay gap data as just the first step on the road to creating fairer and more equal workplaces across the UK,” she said.
Sam Smethers, chief executive of the Fawcett Society, described gender pay gap reporting as a “game changer” for workplace culture and practices.
“It forces employers to look at themselves and understand their organisations and it prompts employees to ask some hard questions.
“But even better than that, finally women are realising that they have a right to talk about pay and they cannot be silenced. By finding out what their colleagues earn they are then in a position to challenge any pay inequality. It is much more common than people realise.”
According to the Independent, around 1,200 employers did not report their figures until 24 hours before the deadline.
Among those last-minute firms was Apple (UK), which had a median hourly gender pay gap of 24%. However, when all of its UK business was taken into consideration, it paid women on average 2% more than men.
“Forty per cent of our leaders under 30 are women, reflecting a 12-point increase over the last two years. So our future generation of leaders will include an even greater percentage of women,” Apple explained in its report.
Ryanair, which published its report on Tuesday, paid men on average 71.8% more than women. It said this was because the majority of its pilots, who attract a higher rate of pay, are male, while most of its female staff are cabin crew.
Today is also the first day employers are able to submit their 2018 gender pay gap figures. Several employers have already do so, including those who pay women more than men, on average. Dacorum Borough Council had an 8% median pay gap in favour of women, while Hitachi Rail Europe paid women 0.6% more than men.
Despite the figures appearing to indicate that most eligible organisations had published their gender pay gap, as the Equality and Human Rights Commission previously estimated that 9,000 employers would be required to do so, a YouGov poll found that 37% of financial decision-makers were not aware of the requirement to publish their gender pay gap by today.
“The gender pay gap issue is critical as it highlights the lack of women working in higher paid roles and identifies to organisations where they need to focus their efforts,” Karen Gill – Everywoman
While 78% of the 500 financial decision makers polled believed there was a gender pay gap in favour of men across the UK, only 21% considered there was one in their organisation.
“Our research indicates that there are many senior figures within companies that may well be in for a nasty surprise when their business posts its figures, due to the contradiction that our data reveals,” Rudy Sooprayen, director of B2B research at YouGov Omnibus, said.
With research by McKinsey & Company suggesting that eliminating the gender pay gap could add £150bn to annual GDP by 2025, Karen Gill, co-founder of female development group Everywoman, said employers needed to make “real, transparent commitments” to improving gender parity.
“The gender pay gap issue is critical as it highlights the lack of women working in higher paid roles and identifies to organisations where they need to focus their efforts and resources to ensure a balanced and more economically productive workforce,” added Gill.