News

UK companies 'don't know how' to fix gender pay gap

The Young Women’s Trust say women still feel uncomfortable arguing for fairer pay

The Big Issue

‘We didn’t know how’ is the main excuse for the one in 10 UK organisations that have not improved gender pay gap, according to a new survey by Young Women’s Trust found published this International Women’s Day.

Up to 30 per cent of the 800 organisations polled admitted they had taken no measures to close the pay gap over the last year. Paying employees different salaries on the grounds of gender is illegal.  

In April 2018, it was made mandatory for companies who employ upwards of 250 people to release their pay gap statistics. At this time it was revealed that some UK giants were paying women on average 18.4 per cent less than men. Easyjet reported a 51.7 per cent difference in gender pay and HSBC had a 59 per cent gap on average.

The trust say that young women in particular express little faith in their employers resolve to tackle the pay gap problem – more than half felt uncomfortable challenging their employers.

Young Women’s Trust chief executive Dr Carole Easton said: “Women face a gender pay gap from the moment they start work and it is not going away.

We need urgent action to improve young women’s prospects and give them hope for the future. An easy start would be to include salary details in job adverts and ban the ‘current salary’ question in interviews, which only serves to perpetuate low pay rather than valuing women’s work for what it is.”  

Almost a fifth of women aged 18-30 say they are paid less than their male colleagues for the same or similar work, Young Women’s Trust found. Nearly 40 per cent say their organisation does not take proactive measures to reduce the pay gap.

Through its #saywhatyoupay campaign the trust asks the government to promote wage transparency by compelling employers to advertise salary details.  

Words: Anna Whealing

Support the Big Issue

For over 30 years, the Big Issue has been committed to ending poverty in the UK. In 2024, our work is needed more than ever. Find out how you can support the Big Issue today.
Vendor martin Hawes

Recommended for you

View all
Post-Brexit border checks to cost £4.7bn. Here's how that money could be better spent
The white cliffs of Dover, where Brexit border controls will come into force
Brexit

Post-Brexit border checks to cost £4.7bn. Here's how that money could be better spent

Archbishop of Canterbury joins growing calls for end to 'cruel' and 'immoral' two-child benefit cap
archbishop of canterbury
Two-child benefit cap

Archbishop of Canterbury joins growing calls for end to 'cruel' and 'immoral' two-child benefit cap

Rewilding is bringing creatures great and small back to UK – but a lack of funds is holding it back
Rewilding

Rewilding is bringing creatures great and small back to UK – but a lack of funds is holding it back

FOSO is the new FOMO: Why are we so afraid to switch off and be out of office?
Work

FOSO is the new FOMO: Why are we so afraid to switch off and be out of office?

Most Popular

Read All
Renters pay their landlords' buy-to-let mortgages, so they should get a share of the profits
Renters: A mortgage lender's window advertising buy-to-let products
1.

Renters pay their landlords' buy-to-let mortgages, so they should get a share of the profits

Exclusive: Disabled people are 'set up to fail' by the DWP in target-driven disability benefits system, whistleblowers reveal
Pound coins on a piece of paper with disability living allowancve
2.

Exclusive: Disabled people are 'set up to fail' by the DWP in target-driven disability benefits system, whistleblowers reveal

Cost of living payment 2024: Where to get help now the scheme is over
next dwp cost of living payment 2023
3.

Cost of living payment 2024: Where to get help now the scheme is over

Strike dates 2023: From train drivers to NHS doctors, here are the dates to know
4.

Strike dates 2023: From train drivers to NHS doctors, here are the dates to know