‘It’s up to women to close the gender pay gap, not simply rely on male management teams’, claims impact guru

Of the 9,961 companies publishing their gender pay data, 7,755 paid male employees more than female staff based on median hourly pay. The hope was that, by being forced to reveal their figures, companies would be more likely to introduce greater equality for women in business, but this has clearly not happened.

Former live BBC producer and internationally renowned speaker, Esther Stanhope, questions the proactive commitment of female employees in driving through a change alongside a simple data publishing exercise.

‘It is reasonable to assume that companies with a particularly poor record have held back their data so that the actual position is probably worse than has been released by the government. But much of the drive for change lies in the hands of female employees themselves,’ she says. ‘I would always advise a female employee to be on the front foot and ask rather than wait for change.’s

The pay gap data that companies have published to date shows that the majority of top-paid positions are filled by men, but with these current figures, there’s never been a better time for women to push for a promotion or pay rise.

Stanhope maintains, ”What’s the worst that can happen? Your manager will say no and will have some explaining to do if you are essentially doing the same job as a male colleague. The important thing is to approach the conversation with confidence. Know your market value. Research what similar roles pay for similar jobs undertaken by male employees and use that as the benchmark. Decide on what you really want for your career.

Get in there early, many firms process pay rises at specific points during the year, and you don’t want to miss the boat.

If you’re a valued employee, in turn, bringing value to the company, the last thing your boss will want is to lose you to a competitor. Stand strong, demonstrate your worth, and be confident. With relatively full employment and companies being required to balance their pay gap figures, there’s never been a better time to make the move.”

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