A chartered professional body that has long-campaigned for equality, said it “welcomes” the Prime Minister’s announcement of a consultation on designing new gender pay gap regulations.
The Chartered Management Institute (CMI), which is dedicated to promoting the highest standards in management and leadership excellence, said the new legislation requiring all large, UK firms to publish details of pay disparities between male and female staff would be a “great leap forward in achieving equality at work.”
Ann Francke, chief executive, emphaised that there was no place for employers did not pay women fairly: “Transparency is the most powerful driver we have for achieving change and this legislation will be good news for women and business alike. It will mean there’s no hiding place for employers who don’t pay women fairly.
“But businesses should report on more than just average pay rates. Given that the gender pay gap is widest at the top, it is vital that companies track pay across different job levels.”
The consultation, which began yesterday (July 14), said companies with more than 250+ employees who refuse to reveal their wage disparities will be fined £5,000 fine. The law is likely to come into force in 12 months.
Earlier that day, Cameron explained why he wanted to eliminate the gender pay gap within a generation. “When my daughters, Nancy and Florence, start work, I want them to look back at the gender pay gap in the same way we look back at women not voting and not working — as something outdated and wrong that we overcame, together.”
He also argued that the new £9 per hour minimum wages would “primarily help women” to receive equal pay. He also suggested for schools to encourage girls to consider wider range of careers.
According to 2014 gender pay gap data from CMI, professional females earn three-quarters of the pay of their male counterparts – an average gap of £9,069. The pay gap becomes more pronounced with age and seniority. For women aged 45-60 the average pay gap grows to 34 per cent, (£16,680).
Francke added: “While we embrace this push for transparency, employers must focus on three things to galvanise wider cultural change when it comes to diversity – data, recruitment and culture.
She suggested three ways how employers could achieve this; firstly collecting and analysing data on employee demographics to develop an action plan.
Secondly, promoting a fairer and open recruitment process instead of the “preferred because ‘their face fits.’ It must encourage women to pursue careers in all fields, like STEM.”
Lastly, the need to make the working environment more inclusive by implementing flexible hours and part-time hours to support working mothers.
“Mentoring by senior managers are all fantastic ways to retain and help employees of both sexes. “These measures will help unblock the talent pipeline and deliver real diversity across the next generation of managers and leaders.”