Equal Pay Day – What does gender equality mean at Kingsley Napley?

10 November 2016

As Hillary Clinton’s hopes of shattering the ultimate glass ceiling are resigned to history it reminds us of the struggle that women continue to have in achieving equality with men in the workplace.

The Equal Pay Act was introduced in 1970, which prohibited less favourable treatment for women than men with regard to pay and conditions. 46 years later and the most recent statistics show that there is still a 13.9% pay gap on average between women and men.

Each year, the existence of this gap is marked on the day when women effectively stop earning relative to men. This year “Equal Pay Day” is today, 10 November 2016, i.e. when there is 13.9% remaining of the year.
Despite this percentage consistently decreasing year on year, at the current rate of progress (2012-2016), the gender pay gap will remain for a further 62 years.

Why is there a gap?

There are a number of reasons why this gap may exist, ranging from:

  • The undervaluing of roles predominantly done by women - over 80% of care and leisure workers are women and women make up over 60% of those earning less than the living wage set by the Living Wage Foundation;
  • The dominance of men in the best paid positions - in 2015 only 5 Chief Execs in the FTSE 100 were women;
  • The unequal caring responsibilities – women continue to play a greater role in caring for children or relatives and are therefore more likely to work part time (41% of women compared to 12% of men); and
  • Sex discrimination – recently in the news again as the Commons Select Committee have highlighted the ‘shocking’ increase in workplace pregnancy discrimination

How is the gender pay gap calculated?

There are several ways to calculate the gender pay gap but the most commonly referred to method, which is used by the Equality and Human Rights Commission and the Trade Union Congress, is to calculate the mean average male and female hourly earnings using gross hourly pay (excluding overtime).

What do we do at Kingsley Napley to champion gender equality in the workplace?

  • Women are visible in managerial positions - We have a senior leadership team that comprises both a female managing and senior partner and a management team of six, of whom four are female. Over 70% of our staff are female and the gender split between males and females in the partnership is equal.
  • We are a London Living Wage Employer
  • We encourage employee engagement and feedback.  This has resulted in Kingsley Napley being ranked 23 in the Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work For 2016
  • Men are supported to take on caring responsibilities and make time for their family.
  • We make flexible working arrangements and benefits available for all staff.
  • We are committed to promoting equality and diversity in all of our activities.  We have dedicated diversity and inclusion groups and an LGBT and allies network

If gender inequality is an issue that you are facing our team of expert employment lawyers can help.

The lessons of the last 48 hours remind us that it is still a long slow march towards full gender equality.  At Kingsley Napley, we are proud to be marching in the right direction.

This blog was co-written by Melinka Berridge and Emily Elliott.

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