Gender pay gap: the impact of comparable worth

Heslop-Martin, C. ORCID: 0000-0001-8777-4460, 2019. Gender pay gap: the impact of comparable worth. In: 20th University Forum for Human Resource Development (UFHRD) Annual Conference, Nottingham Business School, Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham, 24-26 June 2019.

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The gender pay gap is an argumentative dimension to gender equality. It can be defined as the difference as a percentage in men and women pay (New JNCHES, 2016). The increasing debates on gender pay gap does not directly link comparable worth as a factor to the gender pay gap or provide solutions. Comparable worth or ‘pay equity’ is interpreted as equal pay for work of equal or similar value and has been a long-standing issue for many years (Rubery and Grimshaw, 2015; Orielly et al., 2015; Peterson, 2015; Lips, 2014). It is the notion that jobs requiring comparable abilities, knowledge, and skills must be remunerated at the same wage rate irrespective of the employee's age, race, sex or any other difference (Dobbelaere, 2011; Sorenseen, 1994). The UK 1970 Equal Pay Act makes it mandatory for women and men to receive equal pay for the same or similar work but despite the existence of the Equal Pay Act to protect men and women doing equal or similar work for equal pay, there are discrepancies and the gender pay gap stubbornly exists.

There are open discussions on the subject of the increasing gender pay gap in the UK (Hazelkorn, 2018). The UK whole economy mean gender pay gap is 17.3% (ONS, 2017) and in Higher Education (HE) Institutions it is 14.1% (UCEA, 2017). Men are more than twice as likely to be in the top salary bracket in universities while women at all levels in universities experience gender pay gaps (ILO, 2015; Blau and Kahn, 2007). For more than four decades, there are efforts to close the gender pay gap in Britain, however, today women are still earning less than men (Orielly et al., 2015). There is limited academic literature in the context of comparable worth and its direct impact on the gender pay gap. It is clear that gender pay gap exists across sectors and there are contributory factors. However, literature has not identified comparable worth as a gender wage gap factor and the extent to which it impacts the gender pay gap. The HE reflects ongoing challenges to abide by the provisions of the 1970 Equal Pay Act. Measures are in place to deal with the issues of gender inequalities. However, there is little knowledge on the issue of comparable worth existence with the gender pay gap and finding solutions to ensure organisation uphold comparable worth in line with equality legislations and by extension to narrow the gender pay gap.

Item Type: Conference contribution
Creators: Heslop-Martin, C.
Date: June 2019
Divisions: Schools > Nottingham Business School
Record created by: Jonathan Gallacher
Date Added: 18 Nov 2019 13:27
Last Modified: 18 Nov 2019 13:27

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