In a year which has seen women’s rights finally break through to the forefront of popular focus with the success of the #MeToo campaign, focused on sexual harassment, another female focused campaign is taking the spotlight this week. #PayMeToo is a campaign that has been launched by a gathering of female MP’s lead by Labour MP Stella Creasy and is focused on securing equality in women’s wages by closing the gender pay gap.
Firms Asked To Submit Data
Public sector firms across the UK have been instructed by the government to submit their wage gap figures. All firms with 250 or more employees are to submit their data with private firms and charities facing a similar deadline on Wednesday.
Over 9000 employers are expected to have submitted figures and the data that has been received paints a very clear picture of inequality in the UK, with women working in schools, hospitals and government roles consistently paid less than their male colleagues.
Some sectors have demonstrated higher wage gaps than others and among the worst so far have been NHS trusts which has shown massive disparity between the wages given to males and females. The London North East NHS trust had the worst gap with male staff paid an average of 41% more than females meaning that female workers earn jut £0.59 for every £1 earned by male workers.
The 10 worst NHS trusts are as follows:
- North East London NHS Foundation Trust – 41%
- Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust – 38.9%
- The Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust – 38.5%
- Doncaster Bassetlaw Hospitals NHS Trust – 36.1%
- Portsmouth Hospitals NHS trust – 35.5%
- University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust – 35.5%
- Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust – 34.2%
- Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust – 34%
- Burton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust – 33.8%
- Medway NHS Foundation Trust – 33.3%
Women working in educational facilities suffered similar wage inequality with some institutions paying male staff as much as 60% more than female staff. The 10 worst educational institutions are as follows:
- Lunesdale Learning Trust – 60.6%
- London Business School – 45%
- Waterton Academy Trust – 42%
- Berlesduna Academy Trust – 41.9%
- Sussex Learning Trust – 41.6%
- South Orpington Learning Alliance Multi-Academy Trust – 40.3%
- Lion Academy Trust – 39.5%
- Wigston Academies Trust – 39%
- The Bentley Wood Trust – 39%
- Fulston Manor Academies Trust – 38.3%
The #PayMeToo campaign is clearly needed, given the startling difference in pay that is shown by these figures. Creasy is supported by Labour MPs Jess Phillips and Lucy Powell; Conservative MP Nicky Morgan; Liberal Democrats Jo Swinson, Christine Jardine and Layla Moran; as well as the Scottish National Party’s Hannah Bardell and Plaid Cymru’s Liz Saville Roberts.
Comments From Creasy
Speaking on the matter Creasy says “If we are serious about tackling the gender pay gap then we have to do more than publish data – we have to show we’re watching what happens next”. The group is also asking women to complete the #PayMeToo Survey which is a straightforward way for women to record their experiences in the workplace regarding pay inequality so that MP’s can gain a better understanding of these issues and figure out how best to address them.
Regarding the survey results thus far Creasy says “Women are already telling us that they are being told not to ask difficult questions about this for fear of affecting their careers and we want to be clear that trying to silence employees isn’t the right response”. Creasy added that “Every woman has her own story of experiencing pay discrimination in their careers including me – now they need to know they have MPs ready to listen to them and act.” Before finally saying that “If you have a gender pay gap you should expect to be challenged to address it and held to account if you try to stop your staff speaking up, whether by trade unions, women’s networks or parliament”.
While the results of the private sector data submissions won’t be known until later in the week, many are expecting the results to be pretty much the same as those seen in the public sector, painting an irrefutable picture of gender pay inequality in the UK which groups like the #PayMeToo campaign are hoping to close once and for all.