74% of staff say closing gender pay gap is important

Gender pay gap widensNew data has revealed that 74% of working adults believe closing the gender pay gap is important and should be a priority for governments and employers.

WorkEqual, a campaign to raise awareness of workplace gender inequalities, marked Equal Pay Day 2021 yesterday (8 November) by releasing the findings of an online survey that showed 85% of women think it should be a priority compared to 63% of men, with older men more likely to agree than younger men.

A total of 67% of the 1,011 workers polled are in favour of pay transparency, agreed by 70% and 63% of women and men respectively. Meanwhile, 70% believe concerns about the gender pay gap represent awareness of a real issue, with 16% believe it is political correctness going too far.

Almost three-quarters (70%) recognise that the gender pay gap is the difference in the average hourly wage of all men and women across a workforce, and 85% equate addressing it with ensuring people who do the same job get paid the same salary. More than half (52%) believe it exists because women often make career decisions influenced by the need to care for children or other family members.

WorkEqual’s founder Sonya Lennon commented that she is calling on employers to be proactive about this, as reporting is just one small aspect of addressing the gap and needs to be accompanied by action plans, setting out how individual workplaces will tackle their gender gaps.

She explained that the campaign is also focusing on smaller employers also embracing change and taking steps to address it.

“Our research shows strong support for addressing the gender pay gap, but it also points to confusion among the general public as to what exactly causes the gap. We need an effective campaign to educate people about what exactly the pay gap is; why it is important to address it; and what the multiple complex factors are that cause it,” Lennon said.