Summary: Research suggests that if more women start doing a particular role, the pay for that role will increase less quickly for both males and females.
Recent press reports suggest a new phenomenon which could have a significant adverse impact on an employer's gender pay gap. Citing research, they suggest that when large numbers of women break into male-dominated roles, employers effectively decide that the work is no longer worth as much.
A new gender pay gap obstacle?
The press reports cite research which suggests that if too many women start doing a particular role, employers may raise the pay for that role less quickly for both male and female workers - in effect "devaluing" that work.
Any such effect could well exacerbate the gender pay gap statistics that employers will report under the draft gender pay gap reporting Regulations. It also raises equal pay issues, if staff in those affected roles are able to show that they are carrying out work of equal value to other roles which have not become undervalued.
Other gender pay gap developments in the news
This new focus comes at the end of a busy month of gender pay gap developments:
- the Women and Equalities Select Committee has published its report on the gender pay gap, recommending flexible working by default for the majority of jobs;
- the EHRC has also published its final report into pregnancy and maternity discrimination, finding, among other things, that 50% of such women suffer a negative impact on opportunity, status or job security, and 20% experience financial loss; and
- the Gadhia Review into gender diversity in the financial sector, sponsored by HM Treasury, has launched the Women in Finance Charter to encourage financial services executives to link bonuses with the development of gender diverse teams.
Read BLP's response to the Government's Consultation
Earlier this month we submitted our response to the Government's Consultation on the draft Gender Pay Gap Information Regulations 2016 which are currently expected to come into force on 1 October 2016. The Regulations will force employers to publish gender pay gap statistics about their British workforce by no later than 30 April 2018 (and annually thereafter). Thank you to all our survey respondents who fed into our response, which highlights various issues with the draft Regulations.