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Government to combat workplace gender gap

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A detailed plan aimed ending the disparity in pay between men and women has been published by the government.

Among the new measures announced is an obligation for larger businesses to publish more detailed information on how much their employees are paid in relation to one another.

The government wants to capitalise on trends that have seen a record number of women actively in work and a growth in women-led businesses. New figures also show that FTSE 100 companies have so far managed to meet the target set by Lord Davis in 2011 of 25% of board members being women.

The drive to make pay more equal will take in a range of measures:

  • the national living wage will help women in lower paid positions
  • there will be wide range of support such as free childcare and flexible working
  • companies with over 250 employees will have to publish the average pay of their female and male employees.

Stephen Crabb, secretary of state for Wales, said the measures were aimed at “supporting the aspirations of those that want to get on” and building a “stronger economy and more opportunities for this generation of women and the next”.

Katja Hall, deputy director general of the Confederation of British Industry, said:

“Addressing the gender pay gap is the right priority – and we should set a target for reducing it. While we believe that publishing pay gap data could be misleading, we will work with the government to ensure that rules on what is published are flexible enough to be relevant to each company.

“To see real progress, however, we need to challenge occupational stereotypes by encouraging more women into male dominated industries and investing in careers advice.”

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