What we have seen in the last few days is something of a rush to report from certain sectors, perhaps trying to find safety in numbers. It is worth remembering that the gender pay gap does not show inequality of pay (where women are being paid less to do the same job) - rather it is the total wage bill divided by the number of employees. Where there is a big pay gap you would expect to see a business where men take up the majority of the more senior and higher paid roles with more women in the lower paid roles. The figures can also be affected by having a relatively small number of very highly paid employees.
One sector where you might expect to find men taking up the senior roles is within the banking sector and the figures reported on recently seem to support this. Goldman Sachs recently reported a median pay gap of 36.4% and a median bonus gap of 67.7% in its international business, with a median pay gap of 19.7% and average difference in bonuses of 30% in the UK business. HSBC have also reported recently with a median pay gap of 29%. If they are to improve these figures before next year the focus going forward for these organisations is likely to be to ensure women are increasingly represented within senior roles.
Following criticism that the big 4 accountancy firms had failed to include data relating to their partners all of them updated their data. This resulted in PwC, KPMG and Ernst & Young widening their median hourly gender pay back by around 4%, Deloitte's gap decreased by 0.1%.
Recently, the Care Fertility Group Ltd reported an average hourly rate pay gap of 59% and a average bonus gap of 97%. This was despite a higher percentage of women than men being paid bonuses, and women dominating every pay quartile. Not surprisingly the company have taken the opportunity to include a link to a report which goes some way to explain the results. This includes an explanation that the bonus figures were distorted by a historical acquisition. The fact that the lowest quartile has only 3% of men in it, and the fact that the highest paid quartile has 69% women was used as evidence that women can progress their careers within the organisation.
To date, 77% of companies have reported men's median pay as higher than women's, with 14% reporting the opposite. These figures don't come as a surprise. And what these figures really represent is a wake up call - the first step in a process which will likely be judged even more harshly this time next year if they don't improve.
You can view the results as they come in here.