Better succession planning is needed to close the gender pay gap, employers have insisted.
A report by the Institute of Economic Affairs last week found that the pay gap was the result of lifestyle choices rather than direct discrimination.
The Should we mind the gap? Report insisted there was too much “song and dance” made about wage inequality.
But Rupert Terry, HR director for financial services firm JP Morgan Asset Management, said HR professionals still had a responsibility to do all they could to minimise the pay gap.
“The issue today is whether women receive the same opportunities for career progression as men, because we don’t see as many women in the higher positions in many organisations,” Terry told Personnel Today.
“Because it’s involved with succession planning, HR has a significant role to play in closing the gender pay gap.”
Kieran O’Keeffe, spokesman for the British Chambers of Commerce, agreed, saying that while direct discrimination by employers was largely overstated, there was still work that could be done.
“There is a well-established legal framework to deal with discrimination, yet the pay gap has stayed the same for a long period of time, which implies it’s not direct discrimination,” he said. “Opening rewarding career paths to as wide a group as possible would solve a lot of problems.”
The TUC and the Government Equalities Office criticised the report, saying it was “fiction”.