What looking at female dominated organisations teaches us about the public sector gender pay gap
Bristol, UK. Last week we hit the deadline for gender pay gap reporting for all companies with over 250 employees in the UK but Gapsquare, experts in gender pay gap analysis, are taking a step back and putting their finger on one aspect of the data people are not talking about – what do companies with more female than male employees look like? And what can this tell us?
The gender pay gap is worse in female dominated public sector organisations
10% of all organisations who have reported so far have what we would define as ‘female dominated workforces’ (more than 80% of their workforce is female). In an interesting twist, the Gapsquare team have learnt that when we look into the public sector data for these women-dominated organisations, the gender pay gap jumps above the national average.
Even more interestingly, private sector companies which are female dominated pay men 3% (on average**) more than women (a better figure than the national average). This figure for the public sector is 14.4%**, showing us that working for a female dominated public sector organisation may not be all it’s cracked up to be.
Gapsquare dove more deeply into this data and found that the majority of the public sector organisations within this group are Academy Trusts, the worst 20 of which we have listed below:
There are many explanations for data like this within female dominated companies, causes can be as wide ranging as lack of female progression, to segregated groups of highly paid men within the trusts. Gapsquare CEO Dr Zara Nanu reflects on this figure, noting:
“This is due to a variety of factors, often resulting in low numbers of women at the top of organisations despite high numbers of female employees throughout. Some reasons for the lack have been mentioned in the media already and they include lack of flexible working at the top, occupational segregation and the way we frame senior roles. Slow career progression and recruitment of women into higher paying roles can also be a huge issue.”
What should we be doing about it?
The short answer to ‘what should we be doing about it’ is progression. As Nanu puts it: “In the data we see more instances of external male candidates recruited into senior roles rather than female candidates promoted internally into these roles.” Flying men in to take top roles in a company that is dominated by women is a guaranteed way to increase the gap and reflects poorly on your retention and progression models.
Closing the gap takes time, and it takes investment in the people you have and if you do it right, you will have remarkably experienced people who know and love your company, leading you towards a fairer future of work.
*though a 0% gender pay gap is ideal, it’s also statistically improbable, see here .
*the median of medians of all companies/organisations who have a female workforce of greater than 80% diff Median Hourly Percent