Trust lacking in gender pay audits to close gaps: survey

A new study from CV-Library suggests nine out of ten women believe they have been paid less because of their gender. A further third feel powerless to do anything about it.

Business women looking directly at camera
Ahead of legislation coming into force next month for the UK’s larger employers to report their gender pay gaps within 12 months, the independent jobs board CV-Library asked 1,000 workers on their attitudes to gender pay gaps.While 87.9 per cent of women studied report they believe they have been underpaid due to their gender, over a third (36.7%) also perceive the gender pay gap is "out of their hands". These figures despite strong feelings about the need to close the pay differential.

Will gender pay audits be enough to close the gap?

Policymakers are likely to find the findings disappointing. Large companies with over 250 employees will have to report in the next 12 months pay differentials between men and women on their corporate websites. The figures will be based on six calculations, which are then confirmed by the chief executive or similar, says Acas.However, the CV-Library study suggested some lack of faith in the upcoming new legislation for addressing pay gaps. Around two-thirds (67.3%) of workers believe their employer can effectively measure pay gaps in their organisation, meaning a full third do not.The same proportion, 33.3 per cent, of women believe the gender pay gap has been going on for far too long and it will therefore be difficult to eliminate entirely.

A change of culture

Commenting on this finding, Lee Biggins, founder and managing director of CV-Library, comments: “The gender pay gap has been a topic of discussion for many years now, but it’s concerning that it’s come to a point where female workers now see no way out.“While there’s been some development to better support working parents, such as the introduction of shared parental leave, organisations must work hard to facilitate their employees and create an honest and open culture where women feel comfortable taking a stance against inequality.”

Related reading:


Pay transparency welcomed – especially among men

On a more positive note, and a step towards creating this more honest and open culture around pay differentials, 76.2 per cent of workers said that they would be happy for their company to publish their salary, with fairness being the key reason for almost half (47.5%). Men were also keener to publicise their salaries, with the figure rising to 53.9 per cent.Asked for what could help close the gender pay gap, respondents backed set salaries for each industry/role (46%), followed by more support for working parents (29%), boosting the confidence of women to ask for more money (12.5%) and an end to the stigma around women going on maternity leave (12.5%).Mr Biggins added: “The new legislation coming into play in April should go some way to highlighting gaps in UK organisations, but it’s clear that the issue won’t end here. Our survey found that over half (57.4%) of workers think that there’s more that could be done to stop the gender pay gap and the government needs to listen.“Without effectively tackling the issues around flexible working, caring responsibilities, helping women aged over 40 back into the workforce, and general workplace discrimination, the UK can’t expect to see the gender pay gap to truly close for some time. We hope that our research is another wake-up call for the nation when it comes to tackling unequal pay.”

Look out for the upcoming spring issue of Relocate magazine, which features the latest on what companies are doing to improve their talent pipelines, including using the insights from workforce data analytics. Reserve your copy here.

Access hundreds of global services and suppliers in our Online Directory
Click to get to the Relocate Global Online Directory  

Get access to our free Global Mobility Toolkit Global Mobility Toolkit download factsheets resource centre