The early results are in. Copyright: sergestudio / 123RF Stock Photo









Organisations with more than 250 employees are having to publish their gender pay gap figures by April by law, but many have already released their reports ahead of the deadline. Of those who’ve done it so far, the results show women are still earning significantly less than men in most organisations.

Topping the list of shame is HSBC with a whopping 60% difference. Other banks also fared badly with results ranging from 43.5% to 30.3% for Barclays and Co-Op respectively.

Before HSBC, the previous wearer of the crown no-one wants was Tui, where males are typically paid more than double their female counterparts. In Tui’s case, the reason for the disparity is given as 95% of its pilots being men with six-figure salaries, while 80% of the much-lower paid cabin crew are female.

Clothing retailer Burberry also reported a 25.9% per hour increase in favour of men despite 70% of its workforce being female.

Even from this brief snapshot of the figures published so far, you can see female pay is still lagging behind male pay, sometimes quite considerably. And the reason most organisations are giving for this is because they’ve got more men in senior positions, which suggests men are still looked at more favourably in the workforce.

It’s not all doom and gloom though. The Office of National Statistics gives the gap in average pay at 18.1%, the lowest since records began, and puts the disparity down to other reasons, including the type of jobs women work and the fact more work part-time than men (part-time workers tend to earn less per hour than full-timers). It does also say more men are in leadership roles at the top of organisations though, backing up our earlier point.

There are also organisations reporting the tiniest of gaps, if one at all. For example, GlaxoSmithKline has a +0.34% gap, and Novartis UK actually has a 0.4% gap in favour of women across its four companies (two of these companies are under the 250-employee threshold to be included in official statistics). These organisations are very much in the minority from results published so far, although similar results might come to light as more organisations reveal their figures.

Some organisations are already starting to try and redress the balance. ITV has set up a focus group around the issue after recording a pay gap of 16.4% and a bonus pay gap of 49.4%, while fellow broadcaster Channel 4 has pledged to have a 50:50 gender balance among its top 100 earners by 2023 to narrow its 28.6% gap.

So, while the gender pay gap appears to be very much alive, it’s good to see some organisations actively addressing it. Those that continue to publish big differences will come under huge scrutiny from the media, government and public, as the focus on the issue is bigger than it’s ever been.

Let’s hope that one day, it’s not an issue at all.

You can read results published so far at: