Wanted immediately: an end to the gender pay gap

Outlook

James Moore
Thursday 19 November 2015 02:18
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The research found some 82 per cent of all CEOs, 92 per cent of chairpersons and 73 per cent of directors are male
The research found some 82 per cent of all CEOs, 92 per cent of chairpersons and 73 per cent of directors are male

Wanted: account manager. You will support a major third party client on a number of digital initiatives. You will collaborate with other teams on strategy, project management and technology to deliver exceptional work and outstanding results. Must have previously worked with large scale design projects. Salary: up to £35,000 (men); £31,500 (women).

The above ad is a real one, culled from a recruitment website, albeit with a couple of modifications. Can you spot what’s wrong with it? The last sentence would have been illegal had it appeared in the real ad. And surely no employer would think about indulging in such blatant gender discrimination in today’s day and age?

Except that they would. And they do. Not overtly as in my ad, it’s true, but covertly it happens all the time. Ask the Office for National Statistics. It found that there is still a gap of 9.4 per cent between men’s and women’s pay in full-time roles, and this has barely changed in the last four years. The TUC says that at current rates it will take 50 years for the gender pay gap to be eliminated. To hasten that process it might require stronger legislation to make covert discrimination just as unthinkable as the overt kind.

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