Lucy Rees: What lessons can organisations learn from the Hollywood gender pay debate?

Lucy Rees

Gender pay differences exist throughout organisations and around the world. In Hollywood, recent debates in relation to the gender pay gap have highlighted the issue. Leading female actors, including Jennifer Lawrence, Meryl Streep, Sharon Stone, Gwyneth Paltrow and Patricia Arquette, have been speaking out about gender pay differences and the fact that male actors regularly earn significantly more than they do, even double.

What organisations can learn from this debate is that, whatever level of remuneration, gender pay differences are no longer being ignored. Women are demanding, and expecting, fairness and wage equality.

In the UK, to reduce gender pay inequality, all larger organisations will shortly be required to disclose information in relation to any gender pay gap. In accordance with the draft Equality Act 2010 (Gender Pay Gap Information) Regulations 2016, which are expected to come into force in October 2016, all private and voluntary sector organisations, employing more than 250 employees, will be required to publish an annual report in relation to the gender pay gap on their website. This report will need to include details in relation to the gender pay gap, the number of men and women in four pay bands within the organisations’ pay range, and the differences between and the proportion of bonus payments paid to men and women.

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Although these regulations only apply to larger organisations in the UK, women across the world, including in Hollywood, are seeking to achieve wage equality, and therefore all organisations need to identify, address and tackle any gender pay inequality.

Lucy Rees is senior lecturer in human resource management at the University of the West of England