Am I surprised? NO.
Do I want to do something about it? YES
There is still an inherent bias towards Senior roles and the feeling that they cannot possibly be performed by somebody on a Part-Time basis as they naturally require longer hours and constant availability. WRONG. This pattern of working is no longer fit for purpose and Senior roles should be designed with flexibility in mind for all to achieve at the highest level.
The gender pay gap increases after childbirth as the assumption is women naturally ‘choose’ to care for their children. Caring responsibilities and part-time roles are shared unequally and jobs need to be created that allow both men and women to balance ambition with raising a family. Zurich UK is a brilliant example of how to make this work for everyone. I know plenty of fathers who would have loved the opportunity to share parental leave but felt they couldn’t even ask.
Women choose to naturally gravitate towards more of the poorly paid occupations typically regarded as ‘feminine’. The perception that it is a choice to prioritise children over paid work, rather than being due to a lack of viable alternatives, positions the gender pay gap as a fact of life and releases employers from responsibility for changing it.
If ALL sectors were opened up to part-time and flexible working, it would encourage more women to work in them.
Women don’t negotiate as hard or as frequently as men and over 60% of women have never negotiated a pay rise. If you don’t ask, you don’t get.
1. Pay people the same for performing the same role
2. Make flexible and part-time working available across all sectors
3. Pay market rate for the role and not what the person has been paid previously