Employees in the U.K. are more confident than ever about a pay increase — yet women expect to earn less money than men do, according to new pay inequality-related findings from Glassdoor.
Only 35 percent of female employees, compared to nearly half (46 percent) of men feel they’ll receive an increase.
Eurostat’s gender pay difference map (available by clicking on General and Regional Statistics, Chapter 13) shows the U.K. gender pay gap is by no means an isolated phenomenon.
In Europe, pay inequality levels vary from country to country, according to the U.K.’s national statistics source, due to a number of factors — including the type of jobs held by women and the proportion of women working in different countries.
However, on average, women’s gross hourly earnings are 16 percent below men’s wages in the European Union.
Pay inequality is also an issue in the U.S. Research has found that American women who work full-time earn, on average, 79 percent of what full-time male employees earn.
On a global scale, pay inequality remains a pressing issue. According to the not-for-profit World Economic Forum, overall worldwide gains against gender pay differences since 2006 have been offset by reversals in a small number of countries.
If you suspect — or know — your organization’s approach to pay inequality could be more proactive, consider making the following changes:
- Encourage pay transparency: As the U.S. National Equal Pay Task Force noted in its 2013 report, women being unaware they’re underpaid is one of the biggest obstacles to combating gender pay differences.
Last July, in a move to quell U.K. gender pay gap issues, U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron announced companies with more than 250 employees would be required to publish the average gender pay difference between their male and female employees. Non-U.K.-based companies and organizations that aren’t required to report similar information may want to consider voluntarily disclosing gender pay difference data to let employees know the issue is being examined and corrected.
- Prevent pregnancy-related pay inequality issues: Taking time off for childbirth can delay career opportunities for women — and, in turn, delay their earning potential. In the U.S., where paid time off after childbirth isn’t automatic, women can experience additional earning and career challenges. Providing paid time off for new mothers, as many countries do, or providing longer-than-required time off options can help lessen detrimental earning issues.
- Utilize best practice tactics: Several European countries have made an effort to share successful ways to combat pay inequality. In 2011, for example, Germany hosted a seminar on reducing the gender pay gap, according to the European Commission, which included presenting software to helps companies analyze their internal gender pay differences.
The same year, The Netherlands hosted a program on flexible work arrangement best practices. Materials from the event stress flex time’s potentially positive effect, which can lead to employers profiting from longer work hours and women benefitting from improved labor market opportunities.
To reduce the U.K. gender pay gap, the country also set a new National Living Wage last year, which government officials said would primarily aid women, who tend to work in lower-paid jobs. Increasing minimum pay levels at your organization may help automatically narrow gender pay differences.
Gender pay inequality is just one diversity issue some organizations face. For more on reducing gender pay differences and increasing overall diversity at your organization, read our recent blog post on what the most diverse companies are getting right.