Equal Pay Day: Narrowing the gap

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Since the launch of Procurement Leaders first Salary Survey in 2012, it has been impossible to ignore a clear trend in the industry. Women working in the same roles as their male counterparts earn significantly less.


Female CPOs were found to earn 94% of their male counterparts. Does that mean female CPOs work only 94% of the hour that males do? Simply, no.


This gender pay disparity is something Procurement Leaders has documented over the last 4 years and, although the gap is narrowing, a gap remains.


It is something that the UK’s national Equal Pay Day, which took place on November 10, is looking to highlight across the business world.


The latest research from the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) suggests that, in the UK, the average pay gap between women and men stands at 18%. Worse still, this gap widens to 33% once a woman’s first child is 12 years old.


What this means is that from November 10, the UK’s female workforce are effectively working for free until the end of the year, due to the scale of this gender pay gap.


Stylist fronted a campaign to encourage businesses to allow their female employees to leave work 18% earlier on this day to raise awareness of the issue. A similar initiative, supported by France’s education minister, took place in France on November 7.


While these campaigns don’t compensate for the bigger issue at stake here, getting the conversation started and spreading awareness can help accelerate change.


Some government’s are taking action.


In August, section 78 of the Equal Pay Act came into force in the UK, meaning that businesses with 250 employees or more are now required to publish details about the hourly pay of men and women they employ every year. No longer will businesses be able to shy away from a gender pay gap.


Change is also happening within organisations, but it needs women to shout about their achievements.


“We are all our own best salespeople,” said Lene Hylling Axelsson corporate VP of strategic sourcing at Novo Nordisk in a recent interview with Procurement Leaders.


“So I would advise women to speak up about their achievements more.”


Hylling Axelsson said that women are typically less confident talking about their own skills and abilities, which was a point echoed at a recent Women in Procurement breakfast briefing in Amsterdam.


“We need to take the initiative and not just be happy with what we are given but strive for more,” said one attendee.


While campaign groups, politicians and boards of businesses all have their part to play, women are the real engineers of their own success and need to tell the business of their achievements and why they should be getting a pay rise.


After all, if you don’t promote yourself, then your organisation is not likely to promote you either.


This article is a piece of independent writing by a member of Procurement Leaders’ content team.

Rachel Sharp
Posted by Rachel Sharp

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