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Supporting and Challenging Gender diversity

How the gender pay gap impacts your graduates

Equal pay for men and women doing similar work has been enshrined in UK law for more than 40 years. However, as Brigette Hammer and Mark Thompson, Hay Group explores, the gender pay gap, which has remained stubbornly high, has come under the spotlight more recently, and changes in the law mean that it has now become critical for all employers to address it, including for your graduate population.

Brigette Hammer

to be better represented overall in the future. This is a long term issue and it starts at the graduate and early career stage.

T Mark Thompson

What is the gender pay gap? The gender pay gap is the difference between the median hourly earnings of men and women, regardless of the level of seniority. On this basis, a female employee typically earns around 80p for every £1 earned by a man. This is because across the country and across employment sectors, females tend to have lower-paid types of jobs than their male counterparts.

…a female employee typically

earns around 80p for every £1 earned by a man.

Does this apply to your graduate and early career populations? You might suspect that a gender pay gap tends to be less apparent for these groups, and you would be right. In general, most like-for-like graduate positions within the same company are paid similarly, regardless of gender. The reason for the gender pay gap is the relative lack of women in higher-paid roles, the causes of which require long-term solutions, starting with graduates and others in the early stages of their career. The smaller number of women in STEM careers for example, and especially the failure to utilise the skills and fulfil the potential of women returning

from career breaks are two principal causes of the pay gap for which there

o truly address the gender pay gap issue, we need to think about women’s careers in the long term

is no ‘quick fix’ solution. As a graduate employer, you play the critical role in starting men and women off on an equal playing field right at the beginning of their careers.

Closing the gender pay gap The government announced that during 2016, gender pay reporting will become mandatory for all organisations with more than 250 employees.

The 1970 Equal Pay Act requires that men and women are paid the same for doing like work; work rated as equivalent or work of equal value. The guidelines on this have been set out in some detail by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC). The government has a broader vision than purely equal pay for equal work. Its ambition is to close the gender pay gap through creating equality of opportunity for both genders at all ages and all levels of jobs: getting more women into higher paying occupations and into more senior roles. The recently published Davies Report is a part of this, setting a goal of 33% of women on Boards by 2020.

How to respond to the gender pay gap reporting requirements Your early career programmes form the foundation of many careers for both genders, and must include advice and guidance to help both men and women set longer-term goals and put in place the appropriate development plans to achieve them. This could include,

for example, encouraging female graduates to apply for jobs in technical roles by providing graduate conversion training, i.e. building on the knowledge psychology graduates have of statistics to enable them to take on data scientist and other analytical roles, or allowing maths graduates the opportunity to become chartered engineers. In addition, we need to work on cultural attitudes: we have made enormous strides in this area but there is still much to do, particularly with respect to women who take a number of years out of the formal workplace to take on caring responsibilities. This affects both the employer, who tends to over-emphasise the importance of work experience when considering candidates to promotion to senior levels and fails to provide continuing professional development or even contact for women whilst they are away, as well as the women themselves, who can suffer a crisis of confidence on return to a career after bringing up a family. We hold a responsibility to arm all graduates, once they are well in to their careers with the resilience and confidence to go for that next role and progress in seniority.

To understand more about the statutory gender pay gap reporting requirements, or your graduate programme strategy and execution, please visit, or contact Brigette Hammer

or Mark Thompson. | Graduate Recruiter 23

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