Equal Pay Day 2020: What the pay gap looks like for women

mind-the-gap-ethnicity-pay-gap-featuredToday, officially marks Equal Pay Day 2020 in the UK - the day in the year where women effectively start working for free.

The gender pay gap in the UK has been steadily closing, with the ONS stating that the average gender pay gap among all workers has decreased from 17.4 per cent to 15.5 per cent in the last year. For those in full-time employment, the gender pay gap has dropped to 7.4 per cent for the first time in over two decades. Aside from women generally being underrepresented in senior roles across all trades and industries, other reasons for the wage disparity include women working in lower-paid jobs and being more likely to work part-time as they shoulder the majority of childcare responsibilities.

Fifty years on from the Equal Pay Act 1970, the gender pay gap is at a record low, with Equal Pay Day having moved six days later in the year, compared to 14th November in 2019. In light of this, Dickies Workwear has explored the best regions for women seeking careers in engineering.

Defying Gender Stereotypes

Women continue to break down stereotypes within male-dominated industries - such as construction, agriculture, manufacturing and engineering - taking on roles they wouldn’t have been able to in the past. As a result, the number of women working in skilled trades has begun to increase steadily.

Women in STEM

Women are still under-represented in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) sectors, while the STEM gender pay gap continues to be quite large in comparison to other industries. Despite this, research from Dickies Workwear reveals Scotland is the number 1 region in the UK for women pursuing careers in engineering, followed by the East Midlands and London.

Best Regions for Women in Engineering

  1. Scotland
  2. East Midlands
  3. London
  4. Wales
  5. North East
  6. West Midlands
  7. North West
  8. South West
  9. Yorkshire & The Humber
  10. South East

There are few engineering businesses in the North (six in total), and women generally have the potential to earn more working in the North West, rather than the North East, in these businesses. Due to lower house prices and cost of living, however, the North East remains the better choice between the two.

The South East is the worst choice for women pursuing a career in engineering, with a small number of engineering businesses (nine) and a high average general weekly cost of living (£565.80).

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Why are we seeing a widening gender pay gap in Data Science?  

Article by Talitha Boitel-Gill, Associate Director at Harnham

mind-the-gap-ethnicity-pay-gap-featuredAccording to the most recent figures provided by the ONS, the gender pay gap in the UK currently stands at 8.9 per cent. Sadly, this figure is relatively unchanged since 2018, and is a menial decrease from 2012’s figure of 9.5 per cent.  

The worst industry offenders are Skilled Trades (22.4 per cent), Process and Plant Machine Operatives (18.1 per cent) and Senior Business Officials (15.9 per cent).

Across the whole jobs market, on average, a woman aged 30-39 earns £16.13 an hour compared to the £17.85 of her male counterpart, a huge gap of 10.68 per cent.

While there are many suggestions as to why women earn significantly less than men, such as having children or needing to take up caring responsibilities, the truth is that the problem lies with employers at the very start of an individual’s career ladder.

Many women are at a disadvantage from graduate level and therefore, no matter how hard they work or how quickly they climb the ranks, they will never be able to match their male counterparts.

How does Data Science fair? 

The number of women in Data Science has always been low in comparison to men; we know that only 25 per cent of the industry was occupied by females last year.

However, the data from Harnham’s most recent Diversity in Data and Analytics report found that this year that number has increased significantly to 30 per cent, pushing the industry closer to that desirable 50/50 split.

Nevertheless, many of these roles are held at entry or mid-level, with very minimal female representation at senior or board level. This means that despite less gender parity, the gender pay gap has widened once again.

The gap is 3.2 per cent bigger than last year, now standing at 10.5 per cent. Despite still being lower than it was in 2018 (13.3 per cent), it is still significantly above the national average. This is an undesirable place for the industry to be.

Currently in Data Science, for every £1 a man earns, a woman only earns 89p. And akin to the issue nationally, this gap starts from the word go, with women earning less than their male counterparts from entry-level and beyond.

What can Data Science (and the rest of the business world) do to combat the gender pay gap? 

Better representation at senior level 

Whilst progress is being made in the Data Science, and the overall Tech, sphere to encourage more women to join the profession, we are still seeing far too many women at entry level, and too few at senior and/or board level.

Only one in five leadership positions are held by women. Despite this number rising slowly but surely over the years, 12 per cent of respondents reported no women in leadership at their place of work, while 88 per cent had fewer female leadership team members than males.

Not only does this undo the current efforts of gender diversity, it also means that many women who may want to enter the market could be put off by the overruling number of senior men.

Additionally, a lack of diversity at the top may ultimately lead to a lack of diversity further down which can have detrimental impacts on a business’ success.

And so, ensuring that there is a clear career path with an equivalent number of opportunities for women and men alike is crucial.

Further encouragement at education level  

Tech, Data and STEM are all very male-dominant sectors, even at educational level. At A-Level, less than a third of female pupils ranked a STEM-related subject first for enjoyment compared to over half of men.

For many, this stark difference is heavily stigma-based. With girls opting for apparently ‘softer’ subjects such as English, Biology or Psychology.

To battle this, we should be shouting about the incredible opportunities STEM and Data could open for our future generation of women, and the influence they could have to quite literally change the world.

This could be through encouragement to attend ‘Women in Tech’ events or learning about inspirational STEM role models, such as Dame Stephanie Shirley or Ada Lovelace, both true pioneers.

Lovelace’s mathematical genius was the brains behind Charles Babbage’s mechanical general-purpose computer. Dame Shirley, a Kindertransport refugee who fled Germany in the Second World War, founded software company Freelance Programmers - the first predominantly female data and programming business.

It's crucial that we are showing our next generation of women that females in this space are celebrates and championed, breaking down the gender-sensitive stereotypes that are still ever-present.

Stand up and stand out 

Whether you’re a senior member of the board or a graduate level employee, now is the time to challenge the gender pay gap. If you know your business is not representative or equal, it’s time to act.

For employees feeling unable to go straight to their employer, find an anonymous way of reporting this to HR if possible. Words without actions are empty, and now is time to fight against a truly needless inequality.

For the full UK Diversity report from Harnham, please click here: https://www.harnham.com/harnham-data-analytics-diversity-report-2021 

About the author

Talitha Boitel-GillTalitha joined Harnham in 2012 following a degree in Politics and American Studies. Since then, she has progressed through the business to the level of Associate Director and now leads the UK Marketing & Insight and Digital Analytics teams.

WeAreTechWomen covers the latest female centric news stories from around the world, focusing on women in technology, careers and current affairs. You can find all the latest gender news here

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Women in cybersecurity paid 21% less than men

teenager on a computer, gaming, cyber security, cybersecurity, women in cybersecurity

Women in cybersecurity are paid 21 per cent less than men, according to new research.

Despite more women working in cybersecurity, the research, Cybersecurity Workforce Study, conducted by (ISC)², found that women are paid, on average, 21 per cent less than their male counterparts globally.

The average salary for female cybersecurity employees in North America is just under $80,000, versus an average of around $96,500 for men. In Europe, the average salary for women is about $40,500 compared to $67,000 for men.

More women than men (22 per cent vs. 13 per cent) cited discrimination as a challenge they’ve experienced during their career. However, in other areas, such as “unclear career path opportunities,” “lack of available cybersecurity positions” and “cost of cybersecurity certifications,” men and women respondents were never more than five percentage points apart.

The study did find some positives for women in cybersecurity. The research found that higher percentages of women in cybersecurity already planned to work in the field even before starting in the profession – and that interest in pursuing cybersecurity education is substantially higher among women under the age of 45. 68 per cent of women in cybersecurity polled by (ISC)2 also said they plan to stay in the field for the remainder of their careers.

The study also reveals that a majority of women cybersecurity professionals are successfully progressing in their careers. Nearly one-third said they are “exactly where I was expecting to be with my career,” compared to 20 per cent of men. 33 per cent of women say they are “very close” and 22 per cent “moderately close” to where they expected to be.

The (ISC)² Cybersecurity Workforce Study is conducted annually to assess the cybersecurity workforce gap, better understand the barriers facing the cybersecurity profession and uncover strategies that organisations can use to recruit, build and strengthen their cybersecurity teams.

Speaking about the research, Agata Nowakowska, AVP EMEA at Skillsoft said, “Whilst progress is under way for pay equality for women, it’s by no way complete."

"The scrutiny faced by organisations such as the BBC for having such a huge discrepancy in gender and BAME pay scales, has brought a welcome light to this issue."

"In fact, 2020 has already seen headlines on how the BBC presenter Samira Ahmed successfully won a case against the BBC over unequal pay."

"We need to see more of this."

"What can we do to speed up change?"

"Organisations need to stand up and address this issue head on."

"Women should not have to question if they are being paid the same amount as a male colleague with the same role and responsibilities."

"If companies really care about equal pay – they should know that offering equal pay is a benefit to everyone."

"We also need to teach about gender equality within schools."

"Both boys and girls need to learn to regard themselves as equal and they are both capable of taking up any role, whether that’s in STEM or leadership."

"Educating children at a young age is the only way to remove unconscious bias that affects us later on in our professional working life.”

WeAreTechWomen covers the latest female centric news stories from around the world, focusing on women in technology, careers and current affairs. You can find all the latest gender news here.

Don’t forget, you can also follow us via our social media channels for the latest up-to-date gender news. Click to follow us on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

Remedying the Gender Pay Gap | techUK

techUK logo

From April 2018, all companies in the UK with 250 or more employees had to report their gender pay gap.

We are now just shy of six months away from the next set of reporting and techUK is launching its guide to writing a good Gender Pay report, ‘Remedying the Gender Pay Gap: How to write a good report’.

It is important to note that the guide is not a silver bullet for any company to dramatically improve their gender pay gap ahead of next year’s result. Instead the report should be read as a plan to writing a good report and a series of steps a tech company should consider to embed meaningful gender diversity into their company culture, for example by becoming a signatory of the Tech Talent Charter or establishing a Returners Programme or Returnship.

For techUK large member companies, this means that actions taken here will improve your diversity outcomes in the medium to long term meaning in your 2019 report you can flag your commitments and changes in the pipeline. For techUK SME members, taking these steps now will help a company improve its culture and in turn, ensure a company is on the best possible footing ahead of mandatory reporting as the company expands.


Deloitte report featured

Technology, career pathways and the gender pay gap | Deloitte

Deloitte report featured

Although the gender pay gap is closing incrementally, pay parity between men and women in the UK is not forecast to be achieved until 2069.

Significantly, the gap in starting salary between men and women who have studied STEM subjects and go on to take jobs in those spheres is smaller than in any other subjects studied.

Our analysis of employment data from the last 15 years alongside nearly three million university records finds that women make up just 14.4 per cent of individuals working in STEM occupations in the UK with as many as 70 per cent of women with STEM qualifications not working in relevant industries. Women are more likely than men to pursue studies - and subsequently take up employment - in caring or teaching roles.

Although these roles are less well paid than technical and commercial roles, they do place greater importance on cognitive and social skills, which we know from other Deloitte research, are essential for workers to remain adaptable and employable in the future.



Why the tech industry must embrace Shared Parental Leave if it is to tackle the gender pay gap


By Laura Hutton, chief product officer and co-founder at Quantexa

It is nearly 50 years since the introduction of the Equal Pay Act, yet the gender pay gap persists.

The UK tech industry is no better than other traditionally male-dominated industries, with Mercer reporting that men in high-tech companies earn 25 per cent more than women, compared to the gap in the UK overall of 18 per cent.

Factors contributing to this include continued gender stereotyping in relation to career and family commitments; women’s participation in the workforce drops from 49 per cent at junior support level to just 25 per cent at the mid-level professional level and 13 per cent at executive job level. Evidently, women continue to struggle in a workplace that favours men and that perpetuates the pigeon-holing of women as primary caregivers. The tech industry, which suffers already from a low representation of women (who make up just 17 per cent of the UK tech sector), will fail to bear witness to the benefits of having women as a significant part of its workforce unless substantial movement is made to create a workplace that is more friendly towards women.

One way to do this is by encouraging greater take-up of Shared Parental Leave (SPL). Introduced in April 2015, SPL allows parents to share up to 50 weeks of leave and up to 37 weeks of pay between them in their first year after having a child, and aims to give parents more freedom in balancing work and family. With uptake currently low—the BBC recently reported that uptake of SPL could be as low as 2 per cent of eligible parents annually— it is clear that women continue to shoulder the lion’s share of childcaring responsibilities.

Consequently, if it is to truly address the gender pay gap, the tech industry needs to do more to encourage parents to take on a more equal share of child-caring duties. This can be done through ensuring companies are more transparent about the rights fathers have in terms of leave-taking (there remains a stigma when it comes to fathers taking extended leave) and through better educating employers about their options when they are becoming, or have become, parents.

Businesses can also be more proactive in putting in place effective policies to support men taking leave for child-care reasons, thereby motivating more men to put in time with their children. Strategies such as offering men and women equal pay for the leave they take in the first year of having a child would remove the financial argument for men to stay on at work, and incentivise fathers to spend more time at home with their newborn.

Currently, fathers get 26 times less pay than mothers if you compare statutory paternity and maternity pay - a gender pay gap of 96 per cent. Compounding this, a survey recently found that 95 per cent of companies enhanced maternity pay above statutory provisions, often to a significant extent, but only 4.4 per cent enhanced paternity pay for even part of the statutory two weeks.

Families are unlikely to utilise SPL unless it makes financial sense to do so and unless men and women are offered equal leave pay, SPL will continue to seem a second-class option. Employers going beyond the minimum pay for SPL would thereby make it a more feasible option for families and allow fathers to take a more active role in child-care.

Another strategy is for tech companies to better support women returning from maternity leave or SPL. Employers need to ensure they are making work life compatible with child-care needs, and to ensure they are not piling pressure upon returning mothers to feel they need to prove themselves or compensate for taking time out. Simple approaches such as setting realistic and reasonable goals through two-way conversations with returning mothers, can go a long way to making women feel supported in the workplace.

Flexible working is also crucial to creating a workplace compatible with child-caring demands. Establishing flexible working policies within the business and working with individuals on a case-to-case basis to set out ways of working that best suit them and their needs means both mothers and fathers can balance responsibilities for children and work appropriately.

By implementing strategies that encourage more men to take a greater amount of responsibility when it comes to parenting, tech companies can work to break down harmful stereotyping in the workplace that separates men into working, and women into child-rearing, capacities, and help produce an environment in which family life can occur symbiotically alongside work life. As a result, fixed gender roles with regard to child-rearing would begin to be broken down, and women would feel supported in the workplace to pursue careers in whichever manner they see fit. Diversity has long been proven to foster creativity, and so, for the burgeoning tech industry, it is crucial that there is a wealth of men and women bringing different experiences and backgrounds to the mix in order to provide the innovative ideas needed to push organisations forward.

Laura HuttonAbout the author

Laura Hutton is Co-Founder and Head of Fraud and Financial Markets at Quantexa – the start-up solving financial crime and terrorism through data analytics, AI and machine learning.

Laura has over 12 years’ experience using data and network analysis to tackle fraud and financial crime. In the wake of the 2008 Jérôme Kerviel rogue trading scandal, Laura pioneered and implemented the technology subsequently put in place by Société Générale to prevent similar from occurring again. She has since headed up teams at Detica and SAS, before co-founding Quantexa in 2016 where she uses sophisticated networking technology to help their clients such as HSBC, and Shell.

In an industry where only one in seven of women are executive committee members & only 17 per cent of start-ups were founded by women, Laura is passionate about inspiring girls to work in and establish companies like Quantexa. Laura runs work experience programs for 16/17 year old girls to encourage them to get into STEM subjects.


Hampton-Alexander Review | FTSE Women Leaders

Hampton Alexander Report

As 2018 draws to a close, there has never been more visibility in business on the lack of women in leadership.

Companies addressing gender imbalance, as part of the drive to align corporate purpose to changing societal expectations, are building the greatest trust in their stakeholders. Rising public awareness and grass-roots focus from employees, will help quicken the pace. But we need to ask what more is required.

The Hampton-Alexander Review (the Review), which is an independent, business-led initiative supported by Government, builds on the success of its predecessor, the Davies Review. In 2016 the Review set fve key Recommendations aimed at increasing the number of women in leadership positions of FTSE 350 companies. This third annual report assesses progress, shines a spotlight on emerging best practice and current challenges.


Women in tech earn 9% less than male counterparts, Hired report finds

The median salary of women in the tech sector is 9% lower than the men they work alongside – the equivalent of £5,000 per year – according to a new report.

Recruitment agency Hired pulled the data from an analysis of more than 10,000 offers across approximately 3,000 candidates and 750 companies.Cash In Hand 3

The data found that the UK is the worst tech-hub offender with a 9% gap, followed by the US coming closely behind at 8%. Australia had the lowest gap at 5%, followed by Canada at 7%.

Marta Krupinska, Co-Founder and GM of Azimo, said: “The fact that a £5,000 pay gap exists in the tech sector is unacceptable. We're far behind the US, Australia and Canada in terms of equal pay and that shows that there's a fundamental issue that needs to be addressed.

“Our tech sector is a world-leader because of its creativity and innovation – and women are a vital part of this. Research has proven that gender-diverse companies are 15% more likely to perform above the industry average, so it's crucial that UK tech companies take responsibility and eliminate any pay gaps, otherwise the future of our sector is at risk.”

Hired’s data also analysed women in the fields of software engineering and tech sales, finding that women working in technology sales are offered roles with a median salary of 5% less than their male counterparts. Furthermore, in software engineering women are offered 9% less than their male colleagues.

Tom Castley, VP EMEA of Xactly said: “In sales roles, this gap stands at 5%. This is a serious business problem for our sector. Businesses failing to suitably reward their staff, regardless of gender, will ultimately fail to gain the most from their employees and will be limited in their success. Eradicating the gender pay gap should be a priority for every UK business. To tackle this, the way we pay employees must fundamentally evolve with the digital age.

“As a country, we must move away from the old-fashioned salary economy to the performance economy. Rather than paying people based on their position and tenure, employees must be rewarded for their output. Empirically linking pay and performance, using data, will ensure that both women and men are being rewarded fairly for what they do. Tech is a vital sector for the UK economy, and only by moving beyond the outdated gender pay gap can we secure its success for the future.”

The gender pay gap was found to be worst at mid-sized companies. Companies with 200 or less employees or more than 1000 employees were found to have a wage gap that is near or less than the industry average of 9%, while companies that have between 201-1000 employees were found to have nearly double that, at 17%.

You can join in the conversation at #letsclosethegap.

What’s in store for gender equality, family life, technology and businesses over the next 100 years?

A report, detailing what the next 100 years holds for gender equality, family life, technology and businesses has been released by Yell Business, predicting the pay gap will close by 2045.

The report is broken up in to two sections; one with a commentary about the progression of gender equality over the past 100 years; the other with predictions with 10 likely advancements over the next 100 years. The predictions have been made based on current trends, and academic research.workplace and gender reports gender equality

Called The Future of Gender Equality, the report has been created by journalist James Wallman. In 2008 Wallman forecast the development of technology that would enable driverless cars to buy by 2020.

Last year businesses were informed that they would be required by law to publish how much they pay men and women in a bid to close the gender pay gap. The World Economic Forum has previously predicted that the gap will close worldwide by 2133, however Wallman has forecasted this will close by 2045.

Wallman has also predicted that in the future more people will define themselves in non-binary gender terms and that there will be more than two genders.

In addition, with the rise of AR (augmented reality) and VR (virtual reality) being used for interview processes Wallman believes that future workplaces will be less affected by inbuilt biases and therefore will become more diverse.

Furthermore he predicts a ‘masculism’ movement which will be supported by both men and women. This will ensure that men are able to share their fears of a changing world for men and their place in it, without being seen as less macho.

Nikki Jacobi, HR Director said: “Looking back at the past century and the many advances in technology, our digital landscape and medical treatments - it would be fascinating to be around to see what happens during our next 100 years.

“Our landscape is constantly evolving and changing with current trends marking a clear distinction to more women being involved in business over the next few decades. Gender equality is a key element to business success and something we at Yell fully appreciate and support.”

Gender pay gap figures will impact feelings towards employers and career choices, finds report

Publication of the gender pay gap will have an impact on peoples feeling towards their employers and career choices, according to a report from the Business in the Community (BITC).

BITC is the Prince of Wales' Responsible Business Network, which works to tackle issues aimed at building a fairer society and more sustainable future.Woman smashing the glass ceiling-thumbnail

The gender pay gap: what employees really think report surveyed more than 1,000 respondents to find that 89% would feel more negatively towards their employers if the gap was relatively large. However, 71% said they would feel more positively about their employers is the gap was relatively small.

Furthermore, 92% said if faced with choosing between two employers they would use this information to make their final decision. More than half of females said they would choose the company with the smallest gender pay gap or for a company that was actively trying to address the issue.

In July Prime Minister David Cameron announced that firms with more than 250 employees will have to disclose salaries. The measures will be introduced over the next 12 months, with a consultation to agree on how the regulations will be designed and where and when the information will be published.

The Office for National Statistics revealed the pay gap for full time working women stood at 9.4% in April 2014, compared with 10% in 2013. However, overall the UK’s gender pay gap currently stands at 19.1%, meaning for every £1 a man earns, a woman earns 81p.

According to EHRC’s Equal Pay survey - A Good Business Decision – the gender pay gap contributes to a loss of between £15bn and £23bn or 1.3% – 2% of GDP every year in the UK.

A report by McKinsey found that addressing the pay gap worldwide could add £7.8 trillion to annual global GDP over the next decade.

Of those questioned by BITC 87% said they think mandatory gender pay reporting will help close the gender pay gap, by helping employers to understand and explain the causes of their own gaps.

In addition 91% said they would want to talk about the issue at work, with two thirds saying they would ask their employer what they are doing to close the gap.

Two thirds of women questioned said they believe there is a gender pay gap within their organisation.

When asked the reason for this two in three women said they believed the gap exists because women are less demanding in pay reviews and negotiations, despite it being reported that structural and organisational factors are the largest driving causes of the gender pay gap.

Overall, 93% of respondents felt that UK organisations should publish their gender pay gap, with 90% agreeing that it should be broken down for each pay grade or job type.

So far less than 10 UK organisations have published such information, these included the likes of Tesco, Friends Life, PwC, AstraZeneca and Genesis. 7,000 will be expected to publish the figures under the new legislation. Two in five of the survey’s respondents think the regulations should apply to companies of all sizes.