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Gender pay gap fuelled by 'lack of pay transparency'

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Gender pay gap fuelled by lack of pay transparency
The gender pay gap in the UK is 7.9%, up from 7.0% in 2021, according to the latest ONS figures. Photo: PA

The gender pay gap in the UK is being fuelled by a lack of salary transparency, new research has found.

Just one in four full-time workers strongly agree their workplace is transparent about pay despite transparency being vital for employee satisfaction, according to a survey by job site Glassdoor.

Pay secrecy is contributing to inequality for women — 67% of female workers did not ask for a wage increase in 2020, compared to 37% of men.

Over the past year just a third (35%) of employees in female-dominated industries such as education, healthcare, and hospitality asked for a pay rise, compared to 62% of those working in the traditionally male-dominated world of finance and 56% in tech.

Over half (56%) of women said are not confident enough to ask for more money. As a result, just 33% of women negotiated the salary of their last job offer, compared to 45% of men. Two in five (43%) women stated that they just accepted the salary that was offered to them by their employer, compared to 35% of men.

Read more: Work from home may damage women's careers, says BoE policymaker

Women are also 26% less likely than their male peers to request a pay rise in the next year.

Nearly three quarters of all employees (73%) received the wage increase they asked for last year, highlighting how women will continue to miss vital opportunities to increase their earning potential due to lack of transparency around pay.

Over half (51%) of employees believe that their employer should be doing more to close the gender pay gap, with male workers 20% more likely than women to agree with this.

The gender pay gap in the UK is 7.9%, up from 7.0% in 2021, according to the latest ONS figures. 

Half of women feel unfairly paid for their role in their current company, compared to 44% of men and half feel that pay and promotions are not handled fairly within their organisation, versus 42% of men.

"Workplace transparency is a hallmark of many successful companies and more transparency is needed in the future," said Glassdoor’s career expert Jill Cotton. 

Read more: A third of UK workers would take a pay cut to work from home permanently

"One in two women admit to lacking confidence at work — companies should open an honest discussion around salary from the point that the role is advertised and throughout the person’s time with the organisation. 

"Having clear salary bands limits the need for negotiation which, as the Glassdoor research shows, has a detrimental effect on female employees' ability to earn throughout their career.”

Thursday, 18 November marks Equal pay day, the day on which women, on average, stop earning (for the remainder of the calendar year) relative to men because of the gender pay gap.

Watch: Why do we still have a gender pay gap?

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