A report published by the Bank of England has revealed a gender pay gap of 24% between its male and female staff, claiming that it’s due to a lack of women in senior positions. The bank said that the median pay gap is 21%, and the mean difference in hourly earnings is 24.2%.
The banks governor Mark Carney says he is confident that men and women are receiving equal pay for the same roles, however the proportion of women in senior roles in significantly lower than it is for male employees. The report also shows that in terms of hourly pay, male employees account for 70% of the highest quartile, and 43% of the lowest quartile.
He said in an interview that “We are working hard to address this imbalance through inclusive and diverse recruitment, including diverse shortlists and interview panels, offering flexible working, providing continual unconscious bias training, and fostering an inclusive culture. Addressing the disparity in gender representation at senior levels will take time, but it will help close the current gender pay gap at the Bank.”
The Bank argues that is has made progress and is taking steps to address the difference in pay. When looking at base pay excluding bonuses, the pay gap has reduced from 22% in 2013 to 18.6% this year. The number of females in senior management positions has also increased to 30% this year, from just 20% 3 years ago.
A recent government report showed that the average pay gap between men and women in full time employment currently stands at 9.1%, which is only a 0.3% decrease from last year. Although the gap is at the lowest it’s been since the Office of National Statistics starting recording data in 1997, companies are being criticised for not taking the issue seriously enough.
Under legislation introduced earlier in the year, UK businesses with 250 employees or more must publish details of men and women’s pay at different job levels to establish any unfairness in their wages. Although this is a step in the right direction, critics argue that the reports won’t be enough to see any real changes.
Women’s rights groups say that although part of the gap can be put down to women choosing lower paid professions in general, there are cases where serious discrimination is taking place. A representative from Trade Union Congress said that the UK is still decades away from closing the gap, and has highlighted the government’s responsibility to ensure men and women receive equal pay and that they must “crank up the pressure on employers”.