We are hearing more about discrepancies in women’s pay as Sarah Brown launches her new initiative, Women: Inspiration and Enterprise.
According to CMI research, our salaries increased by 2.8% this year compared to 2.3% in men’s. Unfortunately, we are still far behind (especially if your job is a female project manager in South Korea). CMI’s research has shown that it will take 58 more years to achieve pay parity between male and female managers in similar jobs. This is a very sad time for those of us who have been working for years and even more so for young women starting to work. They will soon be retired before their salaries are comparable to their male counterparts.
Management is not helping itself: Alistair Tebbit, spokesperson for the Institute of Directors, stated today that it was a “mistake” to extend flexibility to parents of children younger than 18 years old. He said that flexible working can be beneficial to some businesses. However, why formalize in law a process that already takes place when there is no evidence that it would lead to more flexible work opportunities? This is especially unwise considering that the creation of another formal employment right would increase the amount of administrative work businesses must do to comply with regulations.
Oh dear. More legislation for HR departments. Maybe flexible working would be a legal right if more companies offered it. Attending the Remote Workers Awards earlier in the month, it was clear that although many companies embrace flexible working, many others aren’t.
Why is flexible work important? Flexible working allows women (and men) to adapt their work schedule to fit around their lives. It won’t work for every company or project manager, especially for those who have to be on a construction site or working with clients at specific times. However, project management can be done from almost anywhere. It’s not difficult to make it work.
Flexibility allows for flexibility, which can lead to better-paid jobs – which could support the transition towards gender pay parity. Perhaps we can achieve it before the 58-year-old limit.