The importance and meaning behind diversity and inclusion (D&I) in the United Kingdom have grown rapidly over the past few years. As more information comes to light and individuals are better equipped to derive insights, there has been a surge in D&I efforts within companies and even the government itself.
The largest issue still facing the population; however, is the pay gap that adversely affects women. As we approach a new generation with different perspectives and increasingly empowered individuals, the UK needs to take a deep look at how their companies are short-changing 50% of their workforce, seemingly for no apparent reason.
THE CURRENT D&I SCENE IN THE UK
In September 2020, the Financial Times published a robust analysis of the gender pay gap. The insights were profound and shocking:
These are just a handful of statistics pulled from various sources of information. And the consequences are stark; a woman is significantly more likely to earn less than a man for the same job under the same conditions with the same qualifications.
Now, this is not unique to the UK. Many countries around the world, many of whom are considered “developed” and “modern”, possess similar characteristics. Yet, the UK workforce has not been as outspoken about the gender pay gap as other countries. In the US, for example, there have been several peaceful protests and workplace walk-outs, highlighting public distaste for the pay gap. This; however, is not common practice in the UK.
ONE EXPLANATION FOR THIS GAP
There are a few different reasons why the gender pay gap in the UK is as wide as it is. One of the critical ones is the lack of diversity in leadership across the country. Out of the FTSE 100 companies, only five boast female CEOs in 2020. That is astonishing, considering that their workforces are approximately split equally between men and women.
The lack of women in senior leadership at firms causes a ripple effect. With inadequate representation at the top, women are unable to receive the same support when asking for considerations and pay increases. Their needs and calls for equality are essentially ignored, creating gaps in both pay, and more importantly, power.
ONE DIVERSIO RECCOMENDATION TO CONSIDER
Some nation-wide surveys have shown that the workforce is evolving. Almost half of the UK workforce believes their employers could do more with regards to D&I.
A possible Diversio sponsored recommendation is establishing a policy that requires training for all executive members. Senior leadership will undergo seminars and workshops that focus on setting a transparent culture and enforcing accountability amongst all members of the respective organization. This will ensure the mitigation of gender-based biases in decision-making, specifically when it comes to compensation.
The key takeaway is directly related to the current compensation culture in the UK. The importance of diversity and inclusion is only going to grow, and unless the UK finds a way to recognize and solve their current problems, they are going to fall behind and be left short-changed.
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