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All companies in the UK which have 250 employes or more now have to publish there gender pay gap. The BBC received some heavy criticism for their gender disparity and many other companies may also be in the firing line. One of the main reasons for the discrepancy is that men occupy more of the higher up roles. It’s understandable that it takes time for a shift to occur due to the historic position of men but is there even a shift happening? Data taken from 2015/2016 looking at 60,000 UK employers found that men are being promoted 40% more than women. This would suggest that even recently one of the main causes of the gender pay gap is not improving.
Why could this be?
Many women who have been promoted reach a mental glass ceiling, they feel that they don’t belong in the position of power that they find themselves in. They may feel like it was an accident that they rose so high. This self doubt can often lead to individuals avoiding taking on extra responsibility so further promotion or pay rises are not sought. This is definitely not the only reason for the pay gap and the responsibility to change is not solely on women. Perhaps a change in workplace culture could be the catalyst gender parity.
Should self image hold people back?
People are not good at assessing their own competence. Their perception of their own ability is more influenced by their own confidence and situation. Changing the workplace environment so individuals can have an open and honest discussion about their work may allow a more clear minded evaluation of ability to emerge that’s not affected by personal biases. Feedback from colleagues may allow women to build confidence in themselves that self evaluation would not have. This would involve a shift from a competition based work environment to a more communal effort which may reward women more fairly and maybe then the gender pay gap will reduce.