How much you earn is still a sensitive subject for most Brits, with most workers across the UK preferring to talk about sex than pay.
Despite being such a difficult subject to bring up, it’s a topic that is becoming more and more important to discuss with each passing year. As the retirement age rises, so too will the retirement gender gap, and in the wake of the BBC revealing some surprising pay figures, some believe now is the perfect time to start a conversation… but is it a conversation we want to have?
We asked our readers to weigh in on Twitter and the poll revealed a very polarising public opinion. With just 6% and one vote between them, 53% disagreed that you should discuss your pay with your co-workers, while 47% thought it was acceptable. With pay being different depending on company and industry, and sectors such as the tech industry struggling to close the gap more than others, the discussion of pay could be hiding the bigger underlying issue of representation.
“A simple averaged figure across a whole organisation is easily skewed by disproportionate numbers of senior male high earners and men in specialist roles,” said Chris Charman, reward expert at Mercer in response to pay figures last year. “In fact, a large gap is more likely to indicate a lack of women in professional and senior positions, rather than simply an uneven pay structure.
“To narrow the gap it is not enough for companies to be equal pay compliant, they also need to develop and support a healthy pipeline of women being promoted up through the organisation.”