By Heidi Weston
It may be the year of the woman this 2018, but there is still a long way to go in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics industries, also known as STEM. The shortage of women in these jobs means that the gender pay gap will not be bridged until 2069, another long fifty years away! That’s a shockingly low 2.5 pence increase rate per year to bridge the pay gap. So what jobs are the worst for gender equality and what can be done to speed up the next fifty years?
According to the graphic below, the worst offending job in the technology sector is computer programmers, which sees men get a whopping 28.3% more for their job compared to women. Second are data specialists, where the pay gap is 13.6%. These shocking results are not only found in the technology jobs but even occupations and industries where women dominate the workforce, for example in healthcare and teaching.
So what can be done to reduce this gap and get a more equal workforce?
Introducing and encouraging pay transparency
Pay transparency is a really effective way to reveal the continued inequality between men and women in the workplace. The issue has been raised this year with over 10,0000 employees in Great Britain revealing their gender pay gap to show how much more men are being paid compared to women.
Transparency increases awareness which as a result triggers action. In addition, with visible salaries encouraging companies to bridge the gap, this may encourage women to work harder in their jobs, which as a result would benefit the business they work for. Being rewarded with pay can give employees a real boost and sense of worth, so reducing the pay gap will only motivate workforces more.
The cost of childcare can not only be a headache for many families, but can have a crippling effect on their finances, with an average part time nursery place now costing up to £6,000 a year. For mothers already on lower wages than men, the costs can make the prospect of working barely even worth it. If women’s salaries were higher, the stress or arranging childcare would be relaxed a little. The Women’s Equality Party are currently calling for state childcare to start once parental leave is over, which should relieve things also.
For some industries, in particular in STEM sectors, levels of female employment are low, contributing to the pay gap between men and women as a result. To reduce the pay gap and also increase the number of women in particular workforces, companies should consider reviewing their recruitment processes and how to appeal to female candidates. Considering things like unconscious bias training for those working in recruitment could be extremely valuable and change the applicant results entirely,
Women have certainly come a long way since they gained the vote back in 2018, however it is clear there is still a lot more work to be done.
(Click on the image to get at the interactive version of the graphic)