The mere fact that there is a gender pay gap at all is enough to get the best of us riled up… But new statistics released yesterday on widening gender inequality across the capital provide a new reason to get your rage on about equal pay. Official figures show that men are now being paid in excess of 13 per cent more than women across London - showing the gap has widened further in just the last year. Incredibly, however, the pay gap remains the smallest in London when compared to the rest of Britain.
It essentially means that, to society, women everywhere - from bankers and execs to hairdressers and cleaners - have less value than men. And we don’t need to tell you that this is unacceptable.
More to the point, it’s archaic. In 2014, many people believe that we’ve already reached equality - but whilst women are more visible in society than ever, it doesn’t mean they are being treated fairly. Something which Kathryn Nawrockyi, Director of Opportunity Now, who are campaigning to increase women’s success at work, knows all too well about.
Kathryn Nawrockyi of Opportunity Now
‘It’s very easy to assume now that because we see men and women in the workplace,’ she told Grazia. ‘Yet equal pay is one of the most significant factors which signals that we don’t have equality yet in UK society. It’s very easy to assume now that because we see men and women in the workplace, we see men and women seemingly enjoying equal opportunities that we have reached equality. In reality, we’re far from it.’
‘It is incredibly disappointing to see the pay gap widening when it’s been over the last few years steadily declining. It’s a sign that work is returning to the City of London bubble which can only be a positive thing - but the signs that it’s negatively affecting women is a powerful call to action for employers that they need to re-double their efforts to focus on gender balance in their organisations.’
Kathryn says that transparency in the workplace is a key factor in amending this - something which, through our equal pay campaign, #WhatImWorth, Grazia is calling on the government to address through our petition. Already, the Liberal Democrats and Labour have vowed to include our call for transparency in equal pay on their manifestos - it’s just David Cameron’s Conservative government who haven’t yet recognised just how imperative it is. But it’s everyone - women, men, employers in the public and private sector - who truly have the power to make this crucial difference in the lives of women nationwide.
‘It’s absolutely vital that women and men in society are conscious of this issue, that we work together to challenge societal norms,’ she says. ‘It’s not just a women’s or working mum’s issue or indeed just an employer’s issue - it’s about everybody, including men. It’s about the partners, husbands, fathers, brothers who should also be indignant about the pay gap.
‘I also think it’s important that we move away from the idea that women should be doing more and asking for more money - what we need is to change the structure in employment and society so that decisions about pay are no longer based on subjectivity or being influenced by bias whether conscious or unconscious.’
Equal pay really does effect everyone - let's do something about it. Sign our petition and help us get one step further to making gender bias at work a thing of the past.