The second Gender Pay Gap (GPG) publication date has just passed and the inevitable questions around year on year comparisons will be asked: Is it closing? Why isn’t it closing faster?
Many companies are grappling with the reasons for their GPG, they may be:
- Intrinsic – disproportionate numbers of men and women at the senior and junior levels
- Institutional – linked to pay, reward or other HR practices
- Sector – some professions aren’t equally attractive to both men and women
- Extrinsic – reflecting a society that needs to change
And those we work with are investing significant resources to identify, take action and close their pay gaps.
But companies are a broad church with front line, back office, sales, technical and operations departments, requiring action plans tailored to each division or department. One size wont’ fit all and there may be a limit to what each company can do in isolation.
One sector that’s addressing the GPG head on is engineering.
The sector has a "double-whammy - as well as women being under-represented in higher paid management roles, they also have fewer women in the technical roles, which also pay more" (Intelligence Infrastructure).
That’s why the Royal Academy of Engineering has launched a research project to understand the attraction and progression of women in these technical roles and to ultimately support employers to close the gap.
We’re really pleased to be involved in such a forward-thinking project. We’re working with the Royal Academy and WISE (Women in Science and Engineering), supported by a number of employers, to identify the engineering pay gap. That is, to quantify the gap within the technical roles regardless of employer.
We think it’s the first cross-employer dataset that’s been explored in this way and I’m really excited to be working on such a ground breaking piece of analysis. By identifying the engineering GPG and conducting some additional analysis, we’ll be able to understand more about the dynamics unique to the profession that impact the progression of women.
Coupled with WISE’s research into attraction and progression of these technical roles, the project will explore underlying reasons for the gap and make recommendations to help employers tailor their action plans.
By putting a spotlight on the profession and its barriers Bola Fatimilehin, Head of Diversity and Inclusion at the Royal Academy of Engineering, is keen to "share industry-wide actions known to help progress women up organisations" (Institution of Mechanical Engineers) addressing this technical challenge head on.
So, hat’s off to the sector for taking the time to work closely with employers, to really understand the sector data, what it’s telling them and addressing the gap in a coherent and coordinated way. Let’s hope other sectors follow suit.
Image: Aug19: Hard Hat Area courtesy of Daniel Ansel Tingcungco