International Women's Day is a global event. It is a chance to evaluate what IWD and pay equality means to you, and how business and the UK government are responding to the challenges.
Some countries say International Women’s Day with flowers. Others with street parties. Some don’t say or do anything at all. The UK is close to being among them.Established in 1911, the International Women’s Day movement champions the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women, while also making a call to action for accelerating progress towards gender balance in all aspects of life.The movement’s aims and its ethos of collectiveness and inclusiveness are very close to Relocate Global’s heart. Last year we hosted our first ever Think Women event at the IOD. This drew on the editorial insight and practical support we have delivered since our inception in 2003.
What does IWD mean for me?
Our inuagural meeting on IWD shone a light on what it means to be female in global mobility, whether as a service provider, assignee or global mobility manager. It has been a real game-changer for those attending and a conduit for positive change on the ground.Following the success, and the evident need for the mobility sector to play its part in being the change we all want to see, Relocate Global is running a bigger event in 2019 to again show our support to IWD 2019’s theme “Balance for Better”.After round-tables where you will meet inspiring women, learn from their stories and share experiences in a relaxed and supportive environment, hear keynote speaker Lauren Touré, Senior Consultant at Frost Included f(i), on how to bring about real change and help yet more women to celebrate and achieve professional and personal success.
Why should the gender pay gap matter to me?
It’s true that the gender pay gap is slowly improving. Yet, progress is patchy. The uncomfortable truth is that a girl born today will still not earn the same amount in her lifetime as a boy born sharing the same birthday.The gender pay gap for full time women is still 8% off parity, with the gap taking decades to close at current rates. It might not sound much – and of course in the UK women are generally in a much better position than others – but over a working life and for pensions savings, this gap becomes a wedge between men and women’s spending power and, ultimately, life choices. And for both men and women. As concerning is that the gap in the UK’s fastest-growing and highest-profile sectors – finance, tech/digital and construction – are those with among the biggest gender-pay gaps or most significant gender imbalances in their workforces.The gender pay gap is a sectoral, structural and social issue. This means everyone – men and women – has an important voice in looking at existing processes and working, including access to flexible working, and how they can be balanced for better.
A call to action
Equality at work is a key theme for the government. It is fundamental for social cohesion and fairness, as we heard at the PwC-hosted roadshow event in Birmingham back in January. The Government Equalities Office (GEO)* is going all out to engage employers on how to close the gender pay gap for good – and together.Recognising the historic focus on the boardroom, such as the Hampton-Alexander review’s targets, and the need to broaden out approaches to include women in low-paid roles and women returning to work, the GEO is now focusing on women and work at every level – again emphasising gender pay and equality as relevant and important.
As the second deadline approaches for mandatory pay gap reporting for employers of 250 or more staff, the GEO is calling on every single employer to act and reduce their gender pay gap now by:
Producing an action plan
Review recruitment practices
Examine women’s progression
Looking at job design
Engaging senior male role models and change agents.