As per labour rights, each worker should receive similar compensation for the equal work done by them. Equal pay concept provides that the employees who perform similar work should receive a similar salary. The gender pay is defined as the average gap between the remuneration of men and women. The equal pay includes all benefits and payments given by companies to their workers such as basic pay, bonus, allowances, and non-salary payments. The gender pay gap can be defined as the average difference between the compensation of man and woman. The Equality Act 2010 has been introduced by the government of United Kingdom to close the gender pay gap in various industries.
This report will focus on the case of BBC gender pay gap and understand the difference between equal pay and gender pay gap. The report will concentrate on the challenges face by women in the workplace and provide various real-life examples. Further, the report will discuss the method of addressing equal pay issue in BBC and provide the significance of overcoming the gender pay gap in achieving organisational objectives. The report will also provide recommendations for corporations to avoid gender discrimination between employees.
Equal pay defines that the women and men working in an organisation and performing equal work must receive similar compensation as per the regulations of Equality Act 2010 (Bose, Pal and Sappington, 2010). It can be described as the legal requirement of the corporation to provide same pay and other workplace benefits to the male and female staff member. The gender equal pay is a wider term which describes the difference between the compensation of men and women regardless of their work, through a corporation, business sector, industries or the economy of the country. In Britain, there is an 18.1 percent gender gap between men’s and women’s earning, which means every pound made by men is equal to 82 pence for women (Meakin, 2017). For example, if a company hire 11 individuals, one managing director, and ten engineers, and the ten engineers including one man and nine women get a salary of £50,000 per year are all considered to be on equal pay. The managing director is a male, and he earns £100,000 per year. The average salary for women will be £50,000, and for men, it will be £75,000 (£50,000+£100,000/2), the difference of £25,000 or 50 percent is considered as the gender pay gap. If there were a female managing director, then the gender pay gap would be £5,000 (Millington, 2017).
In BBC case, many of the high-profile female personalities asked the company to “act now” on the gender pay gap. For many years, the company has high gender pay gap, and the executives did not take any action to fill such gap. BBC decided to disclose the salary of their stars which are earning more than £150,000. The company publishes such salaries in their annual report, and it showed that two-thirds of the male stars receive a salary of £150,000. The highest paying male star gets a salary around £2.2 to £2.25 million, and the highest paid female star earns between £450,000 and £500,000 (Figure 1). The data showing in the annual report of the company proved the existence of gender pay gap in between the male and female workers (Staff, 2017).
Tony Hall, the director general of the company, provided that they will close the gap between gender pay by 2020 (Ruddick, 2017). Following the publication of salaries by BBC, the companies with more than 250 employees are required report the gender pay gap into their organisation by using a template provided by the government. The reports submitted by the corporations provide that there are many companies which have a high gender pay gap (Figure 2). For example, Virgin Money disclosed that in their company men earn 36 percent more than women. The consultancy firm PwC reported a gender pay gap of 15 percent. These examples show the high number of gender pay gap in corporations, and it proved the discrimination against women in the workplace (Hellier and Colby, 2017).
Challenges Face by Women in Workplace
In the modern world, women have proved their astonishing presence in all industries and significant numbers. Modern women are strong, technically competent, smart and emotionally valiant as compared to their male counterparts. As per Davidson and Burke (2011), even after achieving substantial laurels, women still face numerous challenges in the workplace other than gender pay gap. Men and women are different from each other both have their characteristics and unique charisma, but many organisations use these differences to discriminate between men and women. Even with equal talent, the men are considered more eligible for various jobs which require physical exertion, travel or other. For example, women workers in Microsoft file a suit against them for gender bias because the company was not giving equal recognition to their female employees.
Corporations prefer to hire men for such jobs as they are considered more eligible than women, and they did not require flexible perks such as maternity leaves or others. The companies did not consider that it is a blessing that women are able to bring another soul into the world and it shouldn’t create obstacles for their development or growth. One of the most heart wrenching and shameful challenges faced by women in a workplace is sexual abuse and harassment (McLaughlin, Uggen and Blackstone, 2012). Most of the men in workplace use their position to sexually abuse the women which makes it a difficult place to work. Women lack safety in the workplace which obstructs their performance. For example, famous talk show host David Letterman was found guilty of sexually harassing the female workers of the show, and none of them raised voice due to the risk of losing their job.
According to Ruggie (2014), security is the most threatening challenge faced by women in the workplace; there have been several cases in which women face physical assault, abuse, and violence. In case of late night jobs, women are discriminated because companies did not provide any transportation facilities to them. The women are requiring learning self-defense and using various precautions for their safety against uncivilised men. Women face multiple challenges while working, still, they paid less than men. The report provided by BBC proved the discrimination conducted by them against the female employees.
Finally, it can be concluded that there is a considerable gender pay gap in BBC which affects many of its female workers. The company might not intentionally promote the gender pay gap, but its policies contributed to creating such situation; the salary difference between male and female stars proves the gap. The corporation should implement appropriate strategies to close the gender pay gap and promote equal pay policies.
Process of Closing Gender Pay Gap
The gender pay gap is a critical issue which contributes to overall low pay rate for women, many types of research have provided that gender pay gap still exists and it is affecting numerous women. There are several factors which cause gender pay gaps such as lower education for women, family issues, segregation in occupations, and discrimination at the workplace (Lips, 2013). BBC can adopt an equality strategy to close their gender pay gap. Firstly, the company is requiring analysing and identifying their gender pay gap and ascertaining the reason for it. The factors which cause gender pay gap include the significant difference between salaries of male and female works, lack of diversity regulations, and biased hiring process. After identifying the factors which are contributing to the issue, the company will require resolving such problems (Hirsch, Konig and Moller, 2013).
The company should immediately increase the compensation of its employees which are underpaid as compared to their equal co-workers. In case of BBC, the highest paying male star earns around £2 million more than the higher earning paying female, the company should fill this and any other gap in the salary of two equivalent colleagues. BBC should also increase the number of female workers in c-suite; the c-suite defines the top senior executives which titles start which letter “c” such as CEO, COO, CFO, CIO or others (Smith, 2012). Although it takes years to achieve gender balance in senior positions, therefore, the company should implement an efficient timeline to tackle such issues. BBC should also search for best female works in their sectors are providing them attractive offers to join their corporation. The company should establish an internal management training program to ensure female workers a direct route to top level management (Kulow, 2013).
The senior level management or experienced mentors should guide the female workers and provide them advice for future opportunities. The gender pay gap primarily starts at the time of recruitment process; the company should offer an equal and fair salary to its female candidates to avoid any discrimination. Massachusetts has made it illegal for corporations to ask candidates previous salary to ensure that all applicants are hired at equal pay (Shen, 2013). The human resource management should also avoid negotiations with the female workers provide them a fair and equitable salary. The strategy adopted by BBC for tackling the issue of gender pay gap should be disclosed to each employee to motive workers regarding the plans of the corporation. BBC should also implement an efficient culture which avoids discrimination against women to prevent any gender pay gap in the future.
Benefits of Closing Gender Pay Gap and Equal Pay
There are numerous advantages of closing the gender pay gap for both society and corporation. In case of a company, closing the gender pay gap can be significantly beneficial because it can assist in the faster achievement of organisational goals. The human resource department of the company can use the equal pay guidelines to attract, hire and retain talented workers. No gender pay gap will improve the reputation of a company which will attract qualified candidates in the recruitment procedure (Mclnturff, 2013). The HRD will have the option to select from a large number of skilled candidates, and it will improve the quality of recruitment process of the corporation. The equal salary packages will also assist HRD in retaining the talented workers, which will enhance the development of business and sustain their future growth.
It also creates a positive working environment in the organisation, which garners the confidence and trust between workers and the corporation. The best utilisation of human resource is the key ingredient for sustaining the success of an organisation. The closing of gender pay gap also benefits society and country as a whole. As per the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, closing the gender pay gap can assist in reducing poverty across different countries (Corbett and Hill, 2012). The women who earn higher and equal salaries will be equivalent to their male counterparts, and it will also enhance the national income of a country. It will also assist in providing better social benefits to women and strengthen the economic security of older women. Better social security and financial condition will improve the retirement saving of women, which will help them in disability or family loss (Blau and Kahn, 2016).
To conclude, the BBC case throws the light on the significant problem of women at the workplace which is equal pay and gender pay gap. The equal pay defines the legal requirement which is mandatory to be fulfilled by the corporation of giving equal compensation for similar work as per Equality Act 2010. The gender pay gap defines the difference between the average salary of women and men in a corporation, industry or country. The annual report submitted by BBC proves the existence of gender pay gap in their organisation. The women face many other challenges in the workplace such as sexual harassment, bias behaviour, security issues and others. The process of addressing gender pay gap issues is discussed above. There are numerous benefits of closing gender pay gap such as the better social condition of women, improved attraction, recruitment, and retention process, the establishment of the positive work environment and many others.
These suggestions will assist BBC in closing the gender pay gap:
- BBC should identify the factors contributing to gender pay gap and terminate such practices; the company should increase the salary of its leading stars along with other female workers with receiving lower wages for same work.
- The company should establish a timeline for hiring female employees in c-suite to promote gender equality.
- Proper mentoring and training facilities to the female worker to improve their role in the company and assist in faster promotion.
- Modification of recruitment procedure to avoid any discrimination against female candidates and promote the hiring of women employees.
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