03 October 2019
It is often said that it takes a woman to get a difficult job done. Imagine what 117 of this country’s most senior women could do if they came together to do one job. I’m not talking about solving the Brexit-stalemate, but (and some might say, more importantly) getting equal pay for women. And today they have launched the #metoopay campaign to do something about it. What they want is both simple and complex. They want radical and rapid action to get women the pay they deserve for doing the same job as men, something legislation which has been in place for over 40 years has thus far failed to deliver.
These woman are putting together a “hub for action” – a place for the latest stories on pay discrimination, critical litigation, and stories of good and bad policies in action. They have a few advantages over legislation. Social media for one. They have the traction from #MeToo and we know how much that campaign has achieved to date. And these are not ordinary women. There are 5 DBEs, 10 CBEs, 8 OBEs and an MBE among the signatories. Many have played leadership roles in some of the UK’s biggest organisations. This campaign has legs. At the very least, it will give women more courage to ask questions about their pay in relation to their male peers.
What does this mean for employers? The cultural transformation towards pay transparency and parity will intensify. Be prepared for more queries and challenges. Have you conducted equal pay audits in the highest risk areas of the business in order to justify pay practices? More importantly have you fixed discrepancies that have been discovered? Where line managers have discretion with hiring decisions or remuneration, are they properly trained? What story does your documentation tell?
Getting pay equality right is now a commercial imperative. For these 117 women leading the campaign against paying women less, their rationale couldn’t be more simple. It’s just wrong.
For more insight on equal pay issues and the benefits and challenges of conducting an equal pay audit click here.