More women than men concerned about gender pay gap: UK survey

LONDON, Nov 14 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Far more women than men are concerned about the gender pay gap, according to a new survey, although both groups put almost equal importance to equality when it comes to workplace promotions.

The survey, published by events company Wildgoose on Wednesday, found that 75 percent of female workers see gender pay equality to be a major concern compared with just 53 percent of men.

“It’s not enough for businesses to report the (pay) gap, they need to do much to address it,” Catherine Mayer, co-founder of Britain’s Women’s Equality Party said in a statement. “A lot of this is around transparency.”

Gender inequality in the workplace could cost the world more than $160.2 trillion in lost earnings, according to the World Bank.

Despite gender pay discrimination being outlawed by the Equal Pay Act in 1970, British women earn 81 pence ($1.05) for every pound earned by men, the Women’s Equality Party said.

Organisations with gender pay gaps greater than 5 percent should be forced to publish their recruitment, retention and promotion rates of women compared to men, Mayer said.

About 117 people across Britain took part in the new survey, a Wildgoose spokesman told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

When the survey asked people about promotions, the gap between men and women narrowed as 67 percent of men considered equal promotional opportunities a highly important issue compared with 61 percent of women.

But more women than men are likely to support a zero tolerance approach to discrimination in the workplace, the survey found.

“Perhaps because women are more used to being discriminated against for their gender, they are therefore more sensitive to other discriminatory issues in the workplace too,” a Wildgoose statement said.