On the morning of Tuesday 6th March 2018 we held a seminar titled ‘the importance of knowing your organisation’s Gender Pay Gap’ seminar at the Spanish Chamber. The event was held in collaboration with Chamber member Diversitas Institute, a London-based management consultancy company which specialises in diversity and inclusion in the workplace and offers training sessions, workshops and coaching. The topic of this seminar is of great pertinence, having featured frequently in the British news headlines in recent weeks, being heavily analysed and with many firms revealing the gender pay gaps amongst their employees.
The talk began with Raquel Barrera of Diversitas Institute, the speaker at this event, providing a definition of the concept of the gender pay gap and explaining its context in our society; both past and present. She explained why the gender pay gap does not equate to unequal pay and the issue of unconscious bias affecting our views and behaviour; of which no one is exempt. She went on to emphasise the 4 key causes of the gender pay gap: unpaid work, part-time work, discrimination and segregation. Part-time work was highlighted as being important to take into account given that part-time jobs generally pay less than full-time, and there are substantially more women working in these roles than their male counterparts. Moreover, she commented on how despite efforts to change this, women still remain underrepresented in STEM roles.
Moving on, Raquel addressed the issue on how we can work to decrease the gender pay gap, highlighting actions such as awareness, recruiting with a gender perspective, supporting staff with caring responsibilities (i.e. with the option of flexible working) and mentoring programmes to remove bias from promotion opportunities. She concluded by pointing out that companies with over 250 employees are required to report on their gender pay gap, suggesting that they accompany this with an analysis of their findings and the creation of an action plan to address the issue.
This was a very successful seminar which prompted a great deal of discussion and debate amongst all of our members in attendance. All agreed that although it is a step forwards that the spotlight is now on this matter, there is still a great deal of work to be done in the effort to close this gap. The seminar was followed with an opportunity for participants to network and discuss their opinions of the seminar over breakfast.
We would like to thank Diversitas Institute for their collaboration and for sharing their great expertise with us on this occasion. If you would like to find out about the seminars and other activities that the Spanish Chamber is organising, do keep an eye on the Upcoming Events section of our website. You can also subscribe to our newsletter to receive bi-weekly updates of our notices and events schedule.