Kavitha’s keynote: Choosing to challenge

Kavitha’s keynote: Choosing to challenge

You would have had to have been hiding under a rock to miss the fact that it was International Women’s Day at the beginning of this week (8 March). Celebrated across the globe, this year’s theme was about choosing to challenge, encouraging people to call out gender bias and inequality.

At Employee Benefits, we were bombarded with information and press releases about the event, and it will probably come as no surprise that much of what we received highlighted the shocking pay and benefits disparity between the genders.

Research carried out by global search engine Adzuna, for example, revealed that the inequalities had been made worse by the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic, with job openings for women suffering a year-on-year fall of 40.2% compared to a drop of just 11.8% for men.

Worse still, the fall in vacancies has translated to salaries, with the gender pay gap between the most popular male and female-held jobs now standing at £6,700.

Meanwhile, in terms of retirement, a report from Scottish Widows highlighted that younger women face a £100,000 gender pensions gap because of time taken out of the workplace to raise children or care for family members. Meanwhile, data from Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development found women over the age of 65 are receiving 26% less income than men from their pensions.

So it’s no wonder then that this year’s International Women’s Day theme is about choosing to challenge these inequalities, which are still so prevalent in workplaces today.

Regardless of whether or not employers are reporting their pay gaps, they must be aware of the size of problem within their own organisations and take steps to address it. This is particularly important because of the damaging impact Coronavirus has had on the progress that had been made in terms of gender equality.

Next week, our week-long Employee Benefits Insights online series explores other areas of reward that have been affected by the pandemic, with one session focusing particularly on reward post-Covid. There are also a host of other speakers and sessions that will explore topics including making inclusion and belonging matter, human communication – connecting with employees during difficult times, and placing mental health at the very centre of your wellbeing strategy.

If you haven’t already registered for the free event, you can do so here.

Kavitha Sivasubramaniam
Tweet: @kavithasiva_EB