The gender pay gap. How depressing that this is even a thing?! However, to celebrate International Women’s Day on 8th March, here are some facts to hopefully cheer us up:
- The gap is a measure across all jobs in the UK, not of the difference in pay between men and women for doing the same job.
- The gender pay gap among full-time employees stands at 8.9%, but the gap among all employees dropped from 17.8% in 2018 to 17.3% in 2019, and most importantly – continues to decline.
- Further to this, the gap declined in seven of the nine main occupation groupings – including managers and directors, professional occupations and skilled trades.
- For the under 40s, the gender pay gap for full-time employees is almost zero.
- For the 40 to 49 age group, the gap (11.4%) has decreased substantially over time.
- One of the reasons for differences in the gender pay gap between age groups is that women over 40 years are more likely to work in lower-paid occupations – compared with younger women who are more likely to work as managers, directors or senior officials.
*From the Office for National Statistics, 2019
Accountancy and the gender pay gap
There seems to be no problem in bringing women into the profession, rather retaining and promoting women in accountancy. Graduate schemes show a 50/50 spilt, which is really encouraging.
But as a woman progresses through her career towards a more senior level, the numbers of women in the role drops – dramatically at partner level. In fact, according to the Financial Reporting Council, the number of women in partner-level roles in UK accountancy firms is just 17%. This could be due to a lack of flexible working arrangements or unconscious bias.
As an employer, you’ll know that as of 2017, all organisations of 250 employees or more must publish and report figures on their gender pay gap. And that The Equality Act 2010 means you have a duty of care to address equality in the workplace. But…
…forget all of that!
According to studies, businesses in the financial sector with women in charge are more successful and outperform firms with fewer women in senior roles.
“We all know intuitively that diversity matters. And there is such compelling evidence that women in senior roles bring greater returns. So, the simplest way to outperform your competitors is to begin with your talent pipeline. Invest in attracting, developing and retaining women at your firm.”
Garry Howling, Managing Director of Public Practice Recruitment Ltd
The bottom line
On International Women’s Day, we’d like you to forget your duty, and your heart, and think only with your head. Let’s look at the facts:
The women who do make it to the top, most likely had to work harder to get there. Which means they are probably better qualified, more experienced and definitely more tenacious than their male colleagues.
Plus, diversity of thought leads to better decisions and a more innovative workforce, so firms with more women at board level are far more likely to outperform their competitors.
And let’s not deny the blindingly obvious – empathy, conflict management, compassion, adaptability…all emotional intelligence competencies. Women in charge make the workplace a more accepting and pleasant place to work.
“There’s never been a better time to start a career journey in accounting – it’s full of promise and opportunity. And even though the jobs you will have one day may not have even been created yet, the language of accounting is universal and is an incredibly valuable asset. In these fast-changing times, it’s a skillset that has transcended all of the technological changes that have impacted other businesses. Fluency in this language will help you succeed in countless roles across all sectors of the global economy and is a launch pad to the most impactful careers in business.”
Kelly Grier, Chairman and Managing Partner and Americas Managing Partner, Ernst & Young
We are proud to support International Women’s Day #IWD2020 #EachforEqual.
If you want to partner with a professional recruitment company to help with your diversity recruitment strategy in 2020, please get in touch today.
We know how candidates think – how their minds work. When it comes to all aspects of the accountant recruitment process, we’re the experts – always here to help.
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