EXPOSING THE GENDER PAY GAP IN PR, PRESS AND PUBLISHING
In April 2017, the government passed legislation decreeing that, for the first time, UK employers are obliged to publish gender pay gap figures. This, according to the gov.uk website, encompasses median gender pay gap figures, mean gender pay gap figures, the proportion of men and women in each quartile of the pay structure, and the gender pay gaps for paid-out bonuses.
And, with steps being taken to establish pay transparency in firms, recent figures suggest that some industries are still falling behind in achieving equitable pay – particularly in PR, press and publishing.
Figures published from manager salary analysis, conducted by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) and UK online HR resource, XpertHR, show that male PR managers in PR, press and publishing jobs earn, on average, £6,233 more annually than their female counterparts. For female managers, the average salary stands at £38,723; this increases to £44,956 for men, including work perks such as company cars, bonuses and commission.
“We have always known that the gender pay gap appears to widen with seniority,” says content director at XpertHR, Mark Crail. “But the results enable us to quantify the gap using a large volume of reliable, checked and verified pay data, drawn directly from employer payroll systems.”
And, explains Crail, the oft-repeated refrain that the gender pay gap is a result of female preference for flexible working or extended maternity leave is disproved through the in-depth nature of the study. “Some people have tried to explain the gender pay gap away as being the result of different working hours or individual career choices,” says Crail. “But when the analysis is based on the pay of more than 100,000 individuals in well over 400 organisations, it is clear that the pay gap is a very real fact of life for UK managers.”
For CMI’s chief executive, Ann Francke, fixing the gender pay gap is integral in strengthening the UK economy ahead of upcoming challenges such as Brexit. And, despite the relatively slow uptake from many UK firms, Francke hopes the UK government’s new emphasis on regulating gender pay will begin a positive trajectory and foster a culture of equality.
Francke says, “Too many businesses are like ‘glass pyramids’ with women holding the majority of lower-paid junior roles and far fewer reaching the top. We now see those extra perks of senior management roles are creating a gender pay gap wider than previously understood. The picture is worst at the top, with male CEOs cashing-in bonuses six times larger than female counterparts.”
“Our data show we need the Government’s gender pay gap reporting regulations more than ever before,” says Francke. “Yet, less than 1% of companies have reported so far. Time for more companies to step up and put plans in place to fix this issue. It’s essential if UK companies are to survive and thrive in the post-Brexit world.”
However, for female managers in media there is hope on the horizon – the study shows media gender pay gap is lower than in other UK industries. The same cannot be said for other industries, however. In the retail sector, male manager salaries are almost £4,500 higher, or 19.4%, than female managers. In the financial sector, the findings are even more stark, with male managers out-earning female colleagues by over £18,000, or 33.9%.
Across all UK businesses, the average male manager earns 26.8% more than their female colleagues. As of 22 September, of the 7,850 UK companies to which the new regulations apply, less than 1% have fulfilled their obligation in publishing their gender parity report. With reports of workplace gender discrimination as well as the salary findings at a managerial level, it is clear a wider cultural shift is necessary.