Gender Pay Gap: Is It Time to Ask for a Raise?

Gender Pay Gap: Is It Time to Ask for a Raise?

In 2018 the UK Government enforced a rule requiring companies to disclose discrepancies in pay between male and female employees. The regulation requires around 9,000 companies representing 15 million staff members to report. However, only two-thirds of those businesses had revealed their data by the end of March.  

This represents a significant change for companies across the UK and an opportunity for women in search of better remuneration. 

Bridging the Gap: The Gender Issue 

The numbers collected so far indicate a serious problem with the structure of today's companies. The image in the UK matches that of the US, with many women earning far less than men. This is particularly true in sectors perceived to have a "boy's club," such as the finance industry. 

The HSBC bank, for instance, revealed that women working for them earn 59% less than the average man. Indeed, 54% of the UK's bank workforce is female, but most are in lower-paying and junior roles. Only 23% of senior executives are women.  

Though the pressure to reveal salary numbers is weighing heavy on companies, the supporters of the new law feel it's an important growing pain in closing the gender pay gap for good.  

Underpaid? Here's What You Can Do About It 

The question for female employees is, "What can I do if I'm working for a company with a large disparity in their pay structure?  

While the trends revealed in the months ahead are likely to spark outrage, it's important for female staff to take a professional approach to their future. Before you launch a career move or ask for a pay rise, think about the following:  

1. Know How Your Employer Measures Up 

Even if you think your current salary is low, it may not be as poor as the remuneration you'd get elsewhere. Studying the data available on the government's pay gap website will give you more insight into your situation.  

If you're struggling to have a conversation with your employer about increased bonuses, performance-related pay increases, and equal opportunities, then it may be time to re-think your career planThis is particularly true if you know of other organisations that are more progressive with pay equality.  

2. Explore Your Options  

If you'd prefer to stay where you are, but you want a higher salary, then you may need to ask for the pay you deserve. Before you rush into requesting a conversation with your manager, familiarise yourself with your company's pay practices. If the standard practice is to offer employees a raise after an annual review, your employer may be unwilling to go against this routine.  

Of course, some companies will be keen to improve their employer brand following the negative publicity it may have received since April 4th. If your business is struggling with bad PR, now may be the best time to ask them to solve the remuneration problem.  

3. Prepare to Ask for a Raise  

Once you've done your industry research, and decided you want to stay in the same business, talk to a specialist recruitment agency. They can help you figure out what kind of salary you can ask for. With that number in mind, create a presentation that will help your employer to see the value you bring to their team.  

  • List the goals you've accomplished for the company 

  • Highlight how your work helps the company with numbers on cost savings, ROI, productivity improvement, and so on.  

  • Showcase your plan for future development and how that will help the company 

  • Highlight your salary in comparison to other employees in your position. 

If your presentation doesn't work out, you can go back to your specialist recruitment team and start your new job search.  


About First2Recruit 

First2Recruit, are an owner managed recruitment consultancy providing a full recruitment service including; permanent and FTC positions in Accountancy Practice and Insolvency across the UK.

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