At UCQ, we understand and recognise the current issues surrounding the gender pay gap. Recent figures have shown that the gap is now at a record low of 8.6%, which is down from 9.1% last year – but this is not the same for all employees. Those under 40 have a lower gap than those who are older.

But, is this change enough? April 2018 was the first year we saw gender pay gap figures released by the UK’s largest employers. This was after they were obliged to submit data on the earnings of both male and female staff members.

Frances O’Grady, general secretary for the TUC union organisation said; “Working women won’t be celebrating this negligible decrease in the gender pay gap. At this rate, another generation of women will spend their working lives waiting to be paid the same as men. Companies shouldn’t just be made to publish their gender pay gaps, they should be legally required to explain how they’ll close them, and bosses who flout the law should be fined.”

This proves an interesting opinion that we agree with. Companies who do not pay women the same as men for the same position and work should be made to discuss why this is and how they will change it. The fact these figures were made public has placed the issue at the forefront of the nation’s attention, and it’s fantastic that we’re openly discussing the issues, solutions and positive actions.

It was reported that less than one in seven companies pay women more than men. This means approximately 78% of large UK firms are still aware of the gender pay gap.

Take the BBC for example, on average women are paid 9.3% less than men, with women also only making up 37.8% of the higher-paid jobs within the company. Although this is an improvement on previous years, there is still a way to go.

Focus must be placed on specific sectors, where the pay gap blows wide open. For example, the finance, education and construction industries the gap is much larger than in other industries. These are areas of concern that must now be addressed.

We pride ourselves in making sure that where they perform the same job, our employees are paid the same. It is also why we feel so strongly about training managers to be the best they can be. And to also help the businesses and organisations they work for. With the UCQ Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship we support existing and future managers in developing the knowledge, skills, and behaviours required to become the very best professional manager they can be.