“We are delighted at Yellow Buses to have no gender pay gap in relation to our employees” says Catherine Sinclair, Human Resources Manager at the company.
Achieving gender wage equality is not an easy task for companies explains Janine Miller, UNISON Regional Organiser in the Dorset Area: “I think it is very challenging because I’m not sure there is a good understanding […] in organisations of what it really is, what it means and how they can structurally change to improve it. And sometimes, I’m not sure there is a lot of willingness to change it”.
Yellow Buses therefore stands out, especially in the context of Bournemouth, where the gender pay gap is higher than the national average.
According to recent figures by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the median for the gender pay gap in Bournemouth has nearly doubled over the last year.
This, Ms Miller explains, “will be primarily due to the fact that the key employers in Bournemouth will be in the social care and hospitality industry, which traditionally employ lots of women and don’t pay very well”.
However, Conor Burns, MP for Bournemouth West, points out that “while the pay gap for Bournemouth as a whole has increased, in the Bournemouth West constituency, […] the picture is more encouraging: for all employees, the gender pay gap for 2018 is 8.8% – some way below the national average, and down from 10% in 2017”.
We need to value women’s work higher!
“The UK is one of the few countries in the world to require employers to publish comprehensive gender pay gap data. […] I am confident that mandatory reporting will shine a spotlight on companies and create the pressure needed to achieve real change” Mr Burns declares.
Ms Miller, however, is more sceptical: “We need to value women’s work higher! And until the day equality becomes part and parcel of the way companies work, I don’t think the gender pay gap will really be seriously tackled”.