Diversity and Equality

Did you know, (because I didn’t) that the current administration agreed to make Section 78 of the Diversity and Equality Act 2010 – which makes gender pay discrepancies transparent – compulsory.

Currently women earn .81p for every £1 a man earns (ONS).

This means that from early 2016 firms with over 250 + employees will have to publish any pay gaps between the genders!

That should make for some very embarrassing reading in early 2016. As any women will tell you, asking to be paid what you are worth, not to mention the same as your male counterparts doing the same job, is an excruciating, usually futile experience. Maybe this naming and shaming might result in a level playing field, who knows, I for one will be interested to see how all this plays out.

On a slightly different topic but relevant, I attended a meeting this week at Green Park executive search and while I was waiting I started to read their rather brilliant booklet called DIVERSITY – A ten minute guide for the busy executive, part of their little green book series. It was a surprisingly illuminating read and I was particularly taken with their ‘Nine figures that will startle you’ piece on diversity in the UK workplace.

To put it all in perspective according to the piece, in 2011 87% or 55 million people in the UK describe themselves as White. The remaining 13%, some 8.1 million belong to an ethnic group, representing 1 in 8 of the UK population.

The article goes on to say:

  • 65 companies in the FTSE 100 – in effect, two out of every three companies have an all White executive leadership (Green Park Diversity Analytics)
  • Fewer than half of all Londoners now describe themselves as White British. The same is true of Leicester, Luton and Slough (ONS)
  • The US is also reaching a demographic tipping point. Black, Hispanic, Asian and mixed race births comprised over half of new arrivals in 2011 – (US Census Bureau)
  • Nigeria is projected to become the worlds fourth most populous contrary by 2050 (Population Reference Bureau)
  • 8% of Black students are at Russell Group universities, compared with just a quarter of White students. (Equality and Human Rights Commission)
  • Only 17% of disabled people were born with disabilities. The majority acquire their disability in the course of their working lives. (Papworth Trut)
  • Women represent a growth market more than twice as big as China and India combined (Harvard Business Review)
  • Across the UK in 2012, the full time gender pay gap in annual earnings was just under 20%. The gap was widest in the financial and insurance sectors. Across all sectors, pay discrepancies were most pronounced among managers, directors and senior officials. (Equality and Human Rights Commission)
  • Britons think that youth ends at the age of 35; for Greeks the age is 52 (European Social Survey)
    So what this article says to me is, that most companies in the UK need to smarten up and dust off their Diversity and Equality policies and make a concerted effort to adequately reflect and mirror the current and future demographic, that is where their customer base and profits will lie. We should all be doing it now.

Talent is diverse and spans all spectrums, people should be rewarded and promoted according to their abilities regardless of any other factors, one no one group shut out from the upper echelons of corporate and business life.

If you require help with your diversity and equality in the workplace, please get in touch,