Procurement; supporting equal pay and opportunities for both genders

Do you feel fairly remunerated for what you do? What factors do you think should be instrumental in determining someone’s salary? In a survey conducted by YouGov, respondents were asked to clarify factors that should govern earnings. Top of the list came responsibility (74%), closely followed by performance (70%). Difficulty of role was also seen as important, but gender was never mentioned or referred to, despite the fact that men earn an average of £96 per week more than women.

On the 1st October this year, gender pay reporting becomes mandatory in the UK for private and voluntary sector organisations. Anyone employing over 250 employees will be required to publish gender pay information on their website in addition to uploading the same details onto a Government website. As a result, the subject of salary has never been so widely debated.

As it currently stands, the gender pay gap in the UK is 9.4%, but this varies over a lifetime. In an article for Business Insider UK, Investigative Journalist and Founding Editor Jim Edwards, looks into the statistics in more detail and interestingly, women can actually earn up to 6.5% more than men before their 30’s. It is after this that the gap starts to visibly widen. Procurement as a profession tends to promote healthy salaries, but a survey taken by Procurement Leaders last year suggests that women in procurement are just as likely to hit a glass ceiling when it comes to remuneration in their thirties and forties as other vocations.

But is this down to negative gender discrimination? Edwards disagrees. A closer look at the official ONS figures points towards lifestyle and career choices. Women are more likely to work part-time, less likely to work in bonus related roles and often step out of the labour market to have children from their thirties onwards. It is these factors that are helping to fuel the gender pay gap rather than an obvious bias towards paying men more.

There will of course still be some instances women are unfairly paid in relation to their male counterparts, but from October, the demand for transparency should discourage any ongoing discrepancies and force businesses to think very carefully about how they remunerate employees.

As an up and coming profession, procurement is in an ideal position to lead the way, ensuring all employees are fairly paid and that business models and culture support women as well as men when it comes to pursuing successful career paths.

About the Author

Helen Harling

Office and Marketing Manager for both Procurement Heads and sister brand HR Heads. Graduating with a marketing degree, Helen has continued her passion by leading our marketing function forward. You will see her blogging, tweeting, posting, videoing about Procurement Heads. You can see this on our LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Instagram page.

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