gender pay gap
The World Economic Forum estimated it would take 132 more years to close the gender pay gap Hyejin Kang/Shutterstock

Last week on 4 April, was the gender pay gap reporting deadline when thousands of companies and organisations disclosed their pay gap.

The Equality Act 2010, (The Gender Pay Gap Information) Regulations took effect on 6 April 2017, and since then employers with 250 or more employees have been required by the government to publish the disparities between male and female pay, based on an annual "snapshot" data, 31 March for public sector organisations and 5 April for private sector firms

The UK's gender pay gap was 14.9 per cent in 2022 according to The Office for National Statics. This figure is based on median gross hourly earnings across all employees.

This was a significant improvement from 2021, which rested at 7.7 per cent.

However, this year's gender pay gap report revealed disappointing results, and despite the five years since its inception, many of the results show that the median gap between what men and women earn has remained stagnant or, in some cases, has worsened.

This year 10,152 companies reported in time for the deadline, a slight increase from 2022. Of the companies that reported 79 per cent report a pay gap which favours men, and only 12.7 per cent reported a pay gap which favours women.

Additionally, this year's report also revealed statistics that showed women at the UK's top ten practices on average earn 15 per cent less than men based on median hourly pay. Figures from last year for the same top firms were at 13.7 per cent, indicating that the gap has increased by 1.3 per cent.

Guardian analysis revealed the median gender pay gap has remained stagnant at 9.4 per cent, the same level as five years ago. In nearly half of the companies and public bodies, men earn 10 per cent more than their female counterparts, compared to only three per cent where women out-earn 10 percent more than men.

These numbers are not only disappointing but disheartening to many campaigners who have expressed their frustration at the lack of improvement.

Analysis by PwC from 2022 found that the UK's gender pay gap will not close until 2151 if the current rate of progress remains the same.

This is a sentiment that remains the same this year. Agata Nowakowska, Area Vice President and head of sales at Skillsoft said: "Just last year, the World Economic Forum estimated it would take 132 more years to close the gender pay gap. And the latest gender pay gap reporting figures make it clear that organisations still aren't doing enough."

Nowakowska calls on companies to be transparent in their reporting and rethink their pay decision-making progress to implement clear policies and programs that address the gender pay gap.

Since last year, the majority of companies in the UK pay gaps have remained between minus or plus five per cent, revealing that many across these organisations and companies struggle to create a lasting impact and change to the gender pay gap issue.

Recent research from Chartered Management Institute showed that companies are failing to take action on the gender pay gap. In a survey of 1,000 managers, only half considered their organisation to be transparent about pay, with 17 per cent, less than one in five saying their organisation takes appropriate action on closing the gender gap.

Closing the gender pay may not be an easy feat, but it's absolutely crucial to address, and for companies to make a conscious effort to promote women fairly from lower-level positions to senior positions.

Understandably, the issue is exacerbated now by the reconstruction of sectors and businesses post-pandemic, and the impact of inflation and cost of living, including childcare.

However, this is not an issue that is going to disappear, and it is on organisations to make conscious efforts and address the environment affecting women at work.