More than half of businesses admit ‘widespread problem’ with UK’s gender pay gap

More than three-quarters of UK businesses are struggling to re-address the balance of gender pay gap, according to a new survey by employee solution provider Xactly.

The research, which explores the causes and repercussions of the gender pay gap, surveyed 250 UK senior management executives. It found that 85 per cent recognised there was a widespread problem within the workplace.
 
Over two-thirds (68 per cent) admitted they have personally witnessed a difference in compensation between men and women.
 

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Almost half (49 per cent) cited “a natural prejudice against women within that organisation” as a reason for the gap they have experienced.

Tom Castley, Vice President EMEA at Xactly, said: “The key to closing the pay gap is to understand why it persists. Part of the problem is that most businesses lack the ability to access, analyse and action the data needed to highlight the gap. Data is the first and critical step in helping to readdress the pay balance, it is the solution and businesses need help to make it work for them.”
 
The report found that 62 per cent said a pay gap continued to exist because “women take time out of their careers to have children and struggle to catch-up with male counterparts on return.” While 72 per cent of executives believed the only way those women would be able to catch up to male peers if they left their company. 
 
The majority of business leaders (92 per cent) would be disappointed if a gender pay gap exists within their organisation. Reassuringly, more than eight-in-ten leaders 82 per cent say their business has a clear strategy to review and close the gap.  
 
Castley added: “The Government can play a part in helping to close the gender pay gap. But businesses also need the analysis of their pay information to make informed decisions about it. The new policy is only one part of the solution. The survey results clearly indicate that business leaders want to create pay equality need the data to equip them properly to take on the gender pay gap and close it.”
 
Despite the Equal Pay Act 45 years ago, women still earn less than men in Britain today. According to new figures released by the Office of National Statistics, the gender pay gap among full-time workers remains at an alarmingly high rate of 18 per cent in the UK.
 

Mary.Isokariari

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