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Equal Pay Day

Friday 10th November, 2017

As many of you will have seen on social media today is Equal Pay Day. This is the day when, because of the Gender Pay Gap, women effectively begin working “for free” for the remaining 51 days of the year.

The Gender Pay Gap is a measure of the difference between men’s and women’s average earnings across an organisation or labour market and is expressed as a percentage of men’s earnings – in the UK the gender pay gap is around 18%. This is different from the issue of equal pay and is concerned with the balance of men and women progressing to senior roles within a sector. So if an organisations senior management and leadership roles are predominantly male, while its junior positions are held by mainly female staff, it may have a considerable gap between the average earnings of male and female workers.

The reasons for this are myriad and entrenched – you can read more about them here. Debate about the pay disparity between men and women should not ignore the significant issue of race inequality; we are still seeing far too many companies where the picture becomes increasingly old, white and male as you look further up the hierarchy. 

At URBED we take a range of measures as a business to create an environment where everyone can grow and progress whatever their gender or background:

  • Working as a cooperative means that all members of staff are eligible to become directors after 6 months, so we all have a say in how the business is run- this includes voting on promotions and pay increases.
  • Our working practice allows for flexible hours, part time working, job sharing and working from home which helps all our staff, male and female, to balance their work and family life.
  • Transparency is also really important. We all know how much everyone earns and we have clear, staged routes to promotions and pay rises based on performance. This fosters a culture of security and trust – no one worries that another member of staff might be getting paid more for doing the same work!
  • All staff are encouraged to challenge themselves, try new things and progress within the company. We tend to hire at a junior level and support staff to grow within the business and take on more responsibility.

The World Economic Forum estimates that globally the Gender Pay Gap will take 100 years to close - as businesses we should be doing everything we can to close it sooner.

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