Gender Pay Gap Explained
The gender pay gap is a lot more complex than simply a difference in wages between male employees and female employees. The slogan “equal work for equal pay” is not necessarily the true root of the gender pay gap and can be misleading. Discrimination in wages between employees, based on gender, is prohibited by law, under the Employment Equality Acts 1998-2015.
The Gender Pay Gap becomes evident when overall earnings are reviewed. On average men earn 14% more than their female counterparts. Men tend to work more hours than women, on average, which can explain a certain amount of the gap, however when wage per hour is reviewed male workers still come out on top.
The important thing to recognise with the Gender Pay Gap is that it is not limited to wages. Male and female workers often start out on the same wages for the same work. Then male workers get promoted, pay rises and bonuses whilst their female colleagues remain on the same pay packet. Female employees are seen as less reliable by employers as they are more likely to take leave for child illnesses and family emergencies.
BBC Gender Pay Gap 2017
The most recent example of gender pay gap can be seen in the BBC wages report. Chris Evans was paid £2.2m last year and Graham Norton £850,000. Only two women (Claudia Winkleman and Alex Jones) earned more than £400,000, compared to 12 men.
Only one third of the top earners were female, meaning there are far more male hosts (showing a lack of employment equality) and the top seven earners were all male. Gary Lineker was paid £1.1m while Clare Balding was paid £199,000, a huge pay discrepancy. Balding was also paid less than fellow presenters John Inverdale (£200,000) and Jason Mohammed (£250,000).
The discrepancy between the wages of male and female workers in BBC is obvious. The employment of more male presenters is also obvious. Clearly gender balance does not exist at BBC. It will be interesting to see what comes of this new information. BBC Director Tony Hall, has committed to ending the Pay Gap by 2020, though why it exists in the first place is not explained.
Gender Pay Gap a Myth
There is a lot of controversy surrounding the Gender Pay Gap, with those against it claiming it is non-existent. With figures like those above it is difficult to understand how a pay gap does not exist. Male employees often earn more than their female colleagues, through bonuses, benefits and promotions. Many male employees are raised grades while maintaining the same job title as female employees who remain the same. Their wages increase while their female counterpart remains at the same grade with the same pay.
Gender Pay Gap does exist. It is real and it is thriving. It may be illegal to discriminate wages based on sex but gender pay gap is not that simple, it is far more complex. Women are not given the same opportunities as male employees. There is up to a 50% pay gap in bonuses.
It is true, however, that the pay gap is not expressly based on gender, which would be illegal. More so, women are discriminated against based on stereotypes surrounding their gender, rather than by virtue of being a woman. The belief that women are less reliable than men because of family commitments is just one example.
Gender Pay Gap is far from extinct. It is unfair, unfounded and completely discriminatory. It’s time to end the pay gap once and for all.
More Information on Gender Pay Gap & BBC Pay Gap:
Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission: https://www.ihrec.ie/download/pdf/the_gender_wage_gap_in_ireland.pdf
Facts on Gender Pay Gap, The Journal: http://www.thejournal.ie/gender-pay-gap-ireland-statistics-facts-3133536-Dec2016/?utm_source=shortlink
BBC Gender Pay Gap, The Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/media/2017/jul/19/lineker-balding-the-list-that-shows-bbc-gender-gap