With gender pay gap reporting only six months away, a study by the incentive compensation firm Xactly has revealed that 49 per cent of UK executives believe that the gender pay-gap is ‘a natural prejudice against women’. 250 UK C-Level executives from large organisations were interviewed for the survey.
The research aimed to explore the reasons behind the gap and its repercussions, and discovered that 62 per cent of those surveyed think that women taking time out of their careers to have children is the main cause of the pay-gap. Quite surprising really, given that over a third of those surveyed admitted that they lack the data and skills needed to identify the gap. If they lack the data, how can they ascribe a cause?
More positively, 82 per cent say their business has a clear strategy to review and close the gap.
Publicity for the report quotes Claire Cockerton, CEO, Here East Innovation Centre, who said:
“Changing perceptions about women’s abilities in the workplace is a stubborn challenge to address. Though we may not realise it, many of us carry preconceived ideas and unconscious biases about women in business. This has once again been highlighted by research today, which has found that nearly half (49%) of UK C-level executives believe the reason for the pay gap is natural prejudice. The fact that nearly half recognise this however, does mean it can be addressed. This elevates an issue which everyone should play a part in rectifying, both female and male, those who have been advocating for equal pay for years, and those who once might not have thought it their place.
Men play a vital role in ensuring that change happens; unfortunately, this is an issue that today, too few men address. The Women in the Workplace 2016 study, for instance, highlighted a growing cultural challenge with the lack of conviction and engagement from senior board-level male staff on gender issues.
It goes without saying that organisations should have a clear compensation philosophy; one that has mandatory salary transparency across genders in businesses and that is based on third-party salary data, ensuring each individual is paid fairly according to the market rate for their skills and experience. But beyond the policy change which delivers better equality to businesses, we also now need the champions of the philosophy and strong enactors of a fair and equally-accommodating corporate culture. We need strong male and female voices; and those who find themselves in leadership positions in companies need to take the requisite responsibility for tipping the scale – which means we need to see a lot more male leaders at the table driving forward diversity and gender equality.”
You can read the report here.