From education to employment

Women’s Pay Day in Education 2020: How to prevent women in education paying the price of inequality

#EachforEqual – Women’s #PayDay is the day when the average woman starts getting paid compared to the average man 

The average women effectively works for free for 63-days of the year compared to the average man, which means as we work our way through the year, women are only just starting to get paid for their year’s work. This year Women’s Pay Day was on Wednesday 4 March 2020 for the average worker, but in parts of the UK where the gender pay gap is wider, women work for free for longer. 

Even in roles which are largely dominated by female workers, including education, there still remains a stark gender pay gap. In fact, the gender pay gap for the education sector is 25.4%, which means the average woman in education is effectively working for free for 93-days.

This means women working in education are waiting until 2 April 2020 before being paid, compare to the average man.

Although the UK’s gender pay-gap has been steadily closing and is now sitting at its lowest ever level for full-time employees (17.3% according to the ONS) – with the 18-39 year-old pay gap leading the way – the reality is that women are still paying the price for not being men in the world of work.

But publishing gender pay gaps is not enough, so in a bid to encourage employers in the education sector to make a change, global workplace provider, Instant Offices, has delved deeper into the issues of pay by gender in the UK and has shared six steps that can be taken to bridge the gap:

  1. Incentivise paternity leave – Businesses can be made more female-friendly by incentivising paternity leave for dads. If fathers have additional paternity leave, mothers can return to work sooner, work more hours and earn more money, while allowing fathers more bonding time with their newborns.
  2. Subsidise childcare – The cost of childcare can be stressful for many families, with an average cost of part-time childcare being up to £6,000 a year. However, according to research, companies providing childcare services saw reductions in employee turnover, increased productivity, and improved quality in job applicants.
  3. Introduce remote working – In today’s digital world, remote working is becoming more acceptable and accessible to millennial workers, although parents can also enjoy the benefits of working from home. According to the TUC, flexible working has real benefits for businesses, with employees proving to be more dedicated and productive.
    A survey by Ernst and Young, 64% of working women who enjoyed flexible working hours claimed to have a clear career path compared to 10% of women who worked fixed hours.
  4. Be transparent about pay – Being open and transparent about how much you pay your staff, whether listed in the initial job description or the interview, is a good starting point. Businesses should research market rates for a role and offer a fair salary for the job they are hiring for. It is also a good idea to explain how your business determines salaries and pay increases up front so that the candidate can make an informed decision about joining your company or not.
  5. Ensure that promotions and rewards are fair – Disparity in pay can easily occur when employees are offered promotions, pay raises or bonuses. Putting in place clear and concise criteria for promotions, pay raises and bonuses will help keep things fair.
  6. Give female employees a raise – Giving female employees a raise can eliminate the gender pay gap in the most pain-free way. Equally, it provides the best strategy for businesses to continue operations with minimal disruptions and additional pressure.

More women than men tend to work part-time jobs (30 paid hours a week or less) in an attempt to balance career and family responsibilities. These positions normally have lower hourly pay than full-time jobs (more than 30 paid hours a week) and are more likely to be in lower-paid occupations.

For this reason, the gender pay gap is higher for all employees than for each of full-time and part-time employees. The gender pay gap among full-time employees in the UK is currently at 8.9%, declining just 0.6% since 2012.

Related Articles