The UK government recently announced that a £2 million fund will be dedicated to initiatives aimed at reducing the gender pay gap. The funding will be spent on training, events and monitoring programs to help women move from low-paid and low-skilled jobs to higher-skilled and higher-skilled jobs.
Hopefully, the measures will also help female employees in the event that they have to address their company or employers about (the lack of) equal pay.
Currently, the overall average pay gap is 19.7%, and while this figure has fallen from 25% over the past decade, it still reflects unfair treatment of workers – particularly older and part-time workers. One reason for the gap is that, on average, there are more women in low-paid jobs. The scheme will seek to provide the necessary training to help them progress into higher paying positions, careers and occupations.
The initiative is run by the UK Commission for Employment and Skills and targets women working in the science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM), retail and hospitality management sectors, and in particular the agricultural sector.
The government will also:
• Publish guidelines that help women compare their pay with that of their male counterparts.
• Invest £50,000 in further guidance to empower female workers to hold their companies accountable if they feel they have been underpaid or wrongly paid.
• Create and launch free pay analysis software to be made available to all companies and businesses so that they can calculate their gender pay gap.
• Implement additional measures to strengthen the existing Think, Act, Report initiative.
Minister for Women and Equality, Nicky Morgan, said: “The measures we are announcing today will help to tackle the pay gap head-on. We will support women moving from low-paid, low-skilled work to high-paid work.” , highly skilled work, through better training and mentoring.” She added: “We will also give both women and employers the tools to assess and address unfair pay.”
The measure will hopefully make it much easier for female workers, as well as for the employers themselves, to identify pay gaps and pay problems within their companies, and it will also make it easier for them to raise the issue with their bosses.