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.