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(And why saying 2018 is the year of the woman, is simply not enough)


MMB Magazine Flexible Working Story By Abbie Coleman


Claire Foy who played the Queen from the highly acclaimed Netflix series ‘The Crown’, hit the headlines earlier this year. When it was reported that she was paid less than her acting co-star Matt Smith, who had played her on-screen husband the Duke Of Edinburgh.

It was stated that Matt simply had the stronger CV, hence the higher salary. But when you look at Hollywood stats of the highest paid actors of 2017, with the highest paid male Mark Wahlberg at $68 million and the highest paid female Emma Stone $26 million, something doesn’t stack up. Especially “he simply had a stronger CV.”.

If the Queen doesn’t get to escape the gender pay gap, what chance do the rest of us have?

At the current rate of progress, the Fawcett Society predicts it will be another 100 years before we manage to close the gender pay gap. So unless you have a tonne of cash to invest in cryogenics I doubt that you or I, are really going to benefit from this. Worse still I doubt our children will either.

This week I have read a few articles on LinkedIn about the gender pay gap, many going down the same route of overcomplicating, dare I say man-splaining and trying to dilute the issue. One, in particular, stood out, making sure we didn’t get the issue “blown out of proportion” and went on with a lengthy calculation to justify why stats were skewed and it simply was not that bad. Ending with maybe we should accept some sexes are just attracted to certain roles!

The shocking thing was this article was written by an employment lawyer, company branded and out to share, with his picture prominently displayed. What he failed to address in his long-winded explanation of the difference between GPG and EP was the undervaluing of female roles, male bias in assessing fitness for senior roles at interview stage, the maternity penalty, career and pay restrictions when needing flexible working, need I go on.

In today’s society, the single white middle-class man has a strong advantage in the business world and is often the sole representative of who you will see on that interview panel. The panel that selects the leaders of the future for business and therein lies the problem. If they don’t see the problem, nothing will change.


And yes the Gender Pay Gap reporting results have been published in April 2018, although 1.5k companies missed the deadline. But before I hear you cry hooray, please remember that the government has only asked for the results to be published they are not actually penalising any companies for not taking action to change this moving forward. So, in essence, it’s a great PR exercise of being seen to do something. Yes great companies will lead from the front, but there is no penalty for those who don’t.

So as I finish up this article amongst the, “we should be lucky it’s the year of the woman” and “the stats don’t show a true figure” . I leave you with the words of the fabulous Rachel Parris…..

” If 2018 is the year of the women, lucky us it only took us 2018 attempts against one opponent!”

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