David Cameron says "Opportunity is nothing without equality" as he announces steps to remove barriers to success in the workplace.
- new steps include forcing larger employers to publish information about their bonuses for men and women and extending plan for gender pay gap reporting
- announcement is part of wider plan to help women and black and minority ethnic (BME) groups across Britain as part of this government’s determination to extend opportunity to all
The Prime Minister and Women and Equalities Minister Nicky Morgan have announced new measures to eradicate gender inequality in the work place and remove barriers to women’s success.
In July, the Prime Minister announced his plans to “end the gender pay gap in a generation” and to build on this, the government is now pledging to:
force larger employers to publish information about their bonuses for men and women as part of their gender pay gap reporting
extend our plans for gender pay gap reporting beyond private and voluntary sector employers to include the public sector
work with business to eliminate all-male boards in the FTSE 350
These announcements are part of wider plans, which will be set out this week to help women and BME groups across Britain as part of this government’s determination to extend opportunity to all.
Earlier this year, business hit the 25% target for women on boards set by Lord Davies and supported by the government in 2011. Lord Davies is now preparing to release his final report on women on boards, which will outline his final recommendations.
Prime Minister David Cameron:
You can’t have true opportunity without equality. There is no place for a pay gap in today’s society and we are delivering on our promises to address it.
Minister for Women and Equalities Nicky Morgan said:
Governing as one nation means ensuring everyone is given a fair shot to succeed, regardless of their gender. That’s why, from the opportunities women are given in school to the ability to move up the executive pipeline, we are determined to tackle the barriers to women achieving their all.
Business has made huge amounts of progress already in recent years – the gender pay gap is the lowest since records began, but it should appal us all that, 100 years on from the Suffragette movement, we still don’t have gender equality in every aspect of our society.
That’s why I’m delighted that we are going further than ever before to ensure true gender equality in the workplace.
A consultation which concluded in September asked employers and employees for their views on how, when and where the data should be published. New regulations which set out how this will work in practice will be set out in due course.
Chief Executive Officer of the Chartered Management Institute Ann Francke said:
One of the biggest drivers of gender pay discrepancy, especially at senior levels, is the bonus gap. Bonuses are also where gender bias can creep in easily as they are amongst the least transparent forms of pay.
There’s a tendency to reward those in our own image or to think that because men may be the ‘main breadwinners’ they deserve higher bonuses. And men often negotiate harder or trumpet their achievements more readily.
The government’s new reporting legislation is a welcome step forward and will be good news for business. Clearer employee data, improved recruitment and a reinvigorated focus on business culture will help unblock the talent pipeline and support more women to become senior managers and leaders.
Notes to editors
Paying people unequally for equal or similar work has been illegal for over 40 years. The gender pay gap is the difference between men and women’s average salaries which reflects the types of jobs that women tend to enter, and the levels of seniority they progress to.
This government’s record on women includes:
- includes more women in work than ever before
- more women on FTSE boards than ever before
- hit the target of 25 per cent of FTSE 100 directors
- more women-led businesses than ever before
- around 1 million (20%) of all small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the UK were majority women-led in 2014, an increase of around 170,000 from 2010
- gender pay gap is lowest on record. (19.1%, overall median gap) and is virtually eliminated among full-time workers under 40
- in the last Parliament, 2.1 million women were taken out of income tax
- last year, 233,000 women started an apprenticeship
- more than 20 million employees can now request flexible working
- 285,000 couples per year can now benefit from shared parental leave
In addition to transparency we are tackling the root causes that prevent women from prospering in the workplace. This is why this government is:
- providing a wide programme of support for women in the workplace
- introducing 30 hours of free childcare
- giving 20.6 million employees the ability to benefit from flexible working
- rolling out a new careers service putting businesses in the lead and showing schoolgirls that no profession is off limits
As part of the Budget, the Chancellor announced a further £1.1 million to help women take full advantage of all the opportunities that superfast broadband can bring to business.