One in 10 employers do not know how to reduce their gender pay gap

One in every 10 employers (10%) does not understand how to go about reducing its gender pay gap, according to research by YouGov on behalf of charity Young Women’s Trust.

The survey of 802 senior HR professionals and people managers was conducted online between 4 and 23 February 2019; it found that a further 10% of those surveyed feel their organisation does not take the gender pay gap reporting regulations seriously enough. The number of individuals who feel this rises to 13% among female respondents.

Nearly a third of those asked stated that their organisation has not taken proactive measures to reduce its gender pay gap over the last year. Only 36% actively agreed that their employer had taken action in this area.

Dr Carole Easton OBE, chief executive at Young Women’s Trust, said: “Women face a gender pay gap from the moment they start work and it is not going away. It’s time employers stepped up, for everyone’s benefit.

“We need urgent action to improve young women’s prospects and give them hope for the future. An easy start would be to include salary details in job adverts and ban the ‘current salary’ question in interviews, which only serves to perpetuate low pay rather than valuing women’s work for what it is. Action to help women into male-dominated sectors and to enable men [to] take on caring responsibilities would also make a big difference.

“Without this, today’s young women will be retired before equal pay becomes a reality.”

Young Women’s Trust found that 55% of senior HR professionals think that stating pay within job adverts would help to reduce the gender pay gap. Almost half of employers (47%) ask candidates their current salary, which the charity argues disadvantages those who are already paid less than they are worth. Around two-fifths (39%) of those surveyed said their employer often advertises jobs without salary details.