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2019 stats show that the gender pay gap continues

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by Startacus Admin

gender pay gap
The gender pay gap continues to be a very real and concerning issue, with recent research by Starling bank showing that in 2019, women earned up to £12,319 less per year than their male colleagues of the same age and within the same industry... 

starling bank logoThe gender pay gap remains a very real and concerning issue since recent UK research has shown that in 2019, women earned up to £12,319 less per year than their male colleagues of the same age and within the same industry - this is in fact an increase of £370 on the previous year’s figures.

The research of the gender pay gap was undertaken by leading digital bank Starling using variables of age and sector to uncover just how much pay differs between the sexes. The data used was taken from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) 2019 report, Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE) and refers to the most recent 2018-2019 tax year.

What is particularly of note is that the gender pay gap was present in 2019 in all but one industry sector - namely skilled agricultural workers, such as senior farmers and landscape designers. This is consistent with 2018's figures where skilled agricultural workers were again the only group where women are paid more than men.

Over the last five years, the only other group of employees to reverse the pay gap has been secretaries and receptionists, who are still enjoying near-equal pay in 2019 with a pay gap of 1.6%.

Process, plant and machine operator operators – typically found in the textile, chemical, and beverage sectors – were shown to have the largest pay gap. There is a 25% difference in annual earnings (across all age ranges) in this sector which means that women in the industry take home £6,350 less than men.

In terms of jobs paying women more, secretary and receptionist roles paid women more than their male colleagues in both the 18-21 and 50-59 age groups. Women in this sector and age range earned 5.93% 0.65% more than their male colleagues of the same age respectively.

gender imageIt’s important to note though that it is not just annual salary that the gender pay gap can be seen in. Bonus or incentive pay, is a financial reward for performance which is paid on top of an employee’s annual salary. Whilst not all industries offer incentive pay, amongst those that do offer and report on bonuses, the pay gap is stark.

Industries with the largest bonus pay gaps included process, plant and machine operators, business and public service technicians and Sales whilst the industries closest to equal incentive pay included Science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) professionals and assistants and also Customer Service.

Speaking on the research, Sharon Peake, gender diversity expert and founder of Shape Talent comments:

“It is heartening to see the segments where the gender pay gap has been eradicated – this is positive progress gender pay gapsand worth celebrating. It is important to be clear, though, on what the gender pay gap represents. It is the percentage difference between men and women’s median hourly earnings. It essentially indicates fewer women in senior levels in the workplace, rather than being a gauge of equal pay for equal work, which has been a legal requirement since the 1970s. Enabling more women to access leadership roles is what is needed to address the gender pay gap and there is still more work to be done here."

She added: "There are some clear steps companies can take to reduce their pay gaps. Helping alleviate the double burden of family and work responsibilities, by ensuring flexible work arrangements, is an important first step. Some companies are taking this further with paternity leave policies that enable men to participate more fully at home. It is also important to make a clear commitment to gender balance in a business’s senior leadership team, actively working to de-bias recruitment and promotion processes, and putting in place leadership development support to help women address the barriers they face.”

We agree completely - whilst the areas of progress are welcomed, it is clear that there is still much work to be done to address this vital issue.

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Published on: 14th January 2020

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