Female board members earn almost half of male counterparts
Research published by New Street Consulting Group revealed that female board members at some of the UK’s largest companies are paid around 40% less than men in the same roles.
While equal pay has been in sharp focus over the last few years, data revealed that the gender pay gap is the widest in the c-suite of corporate Britain. On average, women earned £104,800 for non-executive roles at FTSE 100 companies last year, compared with an average of £170,400 paid to men. For executive board members, average pay was £2.5m for men and £1.5m for women.
In the broader market, women were paid 15.5% less than men, according to 2020 data from the Office for National Statistics.
Darren Hockley, Managing Director at DeltaNet International commented: Despite discussions of the gender pay gap over recent years, and the introduction of gender pay gap reporting, it’s clear that FTSE 100 organisations are still not doing enough to tackle the issue – especially when there’s a 40% difference. The fact is that unconscious bias remains, and organisations must tackle diversity and equality issues by supporting staff with training. HR must work more closely with executive teams to address equal and fair pay to stamp out social injustice.
“Pay equality responsibility does not just lie with HR; it requires support from everyone in the organisation in order to be addressed. So, more executives need to step up and become an ally for their female colleagues. If they are aware of injustice, then they need to speak up and support their female colleagues to get paid what they deserve.”
The Financial Conduct Authority recently suggested that UK companies should ensure that at least 40% of board level roles and a minimum of one senior executive role are held by women.
New Street Consulting Director Claire Carter, said “Focusing solely on the percentages of directors that are women is not enough when trying to approach equality.”
The government-backed review of board diversity, the Hampton-Alexander review found that, across the FTSE 350, women now held its 2020 target of an average of 33% board roles. But 130 businesses fell short of this target. Senior board roles remained male dominated, with just 14% of executive directorships held by women. Just 17 chief executives across the FTSE 350 are women.
Most businesses are doing their best to ensure they’re no longer a ‘boys club’ even if the reality of their demographics didn’t live up to aspirations, said Carter.
“The key to doing that will be ensuring that women have more executive responsibilities and are trained and prepared properly for taking on that responsibility,” she said. “It will be a case of their examining whether there are any barriers that are preventing females from reaching the very top at their organisation.”
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