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Gender Pay Gap: how are we here? (Part 3)

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Gender Pay Gap: how are we here? (Part 3)

Karen Lloyd Marketing, Salaries, candidate...

Part 3 wraps up our mini-series on the gender pay gap and it's prevelance in the marketing profession.  Our last installment looked at where we are in marketing today - in reality no better than the average gender dispaity.

This week I I take a look at how we have arrived where we are today - in an era that strives for (and in some cases actually claims) to reach equality between the sexes, we still have an alarming disparity between how men and women are remunerated.  From 16th October until the end of each year, the average women works for free according to the statistics.  

It is a complicated issue and I don't think anyone deliberately sets out to pay a man more than a woman for the same role.  I believe it is important to note that there other benefits a remuneration package brings which have different priorities for men and women that can influence things.  This is supported by the figures, for example; 21.5% of women said they would consider leaving a role for the chances of flexible working which often comes at a slightly reduced salary, compared to just 12.3% of men. This is accompanied by a tendency for women to seek stability and stay in a role longer on average than men, and the reduced opportunity for comparable salary increases that moving jobs provides.  Not that we can solely attribute it to the challenges of child rearing and familial responsibility.  

I’m also not saying men care more about their salaries than women.  In my experience, women want to be well remunerated just as much as men.  However, it is up to the individual to challenge the business if they feel their situation is unfair. 

There is still a stigma around a hard-negotiating woman.  The risk of being viewed as difficult or hard-nosed, in comparison with a man who is generally seen as ambitious and go-getting in these situations is very real.  It’s a fine line to tread for a woman, but there’s a whole other blog post in that topic!

Our experience

Anecdotally, the feeling from senior marketing and business leaders is one of surprise that the gap is as large as the statistics show.  I don’t think anyone actively sets a salary banding at “x” for a man and “y” for a woman.  Certainly, in our dealings with clients, roles are offered dependant on the skills and experience of the candidate, not their gender.

As companies seek to address their own pay gap situations, we’ll often work with our clients as part of our service to benchmark salaries from both an industry and geographical perspective to ensure they are not only within the client’s budget, but competitive.  Ultimately, if a business doesn’t pay market rates, they won’t attract or retain the best talent, and it is essential from a candidate’s perspective that they know the market and what roles are paying when entering negotiations.