It’s April 2029 and the government is trumpeting the fact that no employer in the UK has a gender pay gap or ethnicity pay gap. All employers say that their median woman’s hourly pay is the same as the median man’s hourly pay and their median white employee’s hourly pay is the same as their median non-white employee’s hourly pay. Would you be joining in the celebrations?
I have a spotted an incorrect median gender pay gap published by a well known name in a certain industry. They shall remain nameless for now since I am trying to get them to accept their error and publish a new gender pay gap report on their website. I know they have made an error because their published data violates the laws of mathematics as I will explain in this blog. All it takes to spot such an error is a simple calculation you can do in your head and an understanding what the median measures.
The BBC presenter Samira Ahmed has won her claim for equal pay at the employment tribunal. She successfully claimed that Jeremy Vine was an appropriate comparator for her pay. She is not the only female presenter to make a claim with over 50 more claims under consideration at present. Assuming that these are all successful, will these have any effect on the BBC’s gender pay gap for 2019 of 7p in the pound?
The 14th November 2019 is being incorrectly marked as Equal Pay Day in the UK by the Fawcett Society. By having a campaign name that conflates equal pay issues with the gender pay gap, the Fawcett Society runs the risk of misleading men and women in the UK in their understanding of what these two concepts mean.
If you care about statistics being used correctly then please lobby the Fawcett Society to rename this as Gender Pay Gap day instead.
If you care about issues to do with Equal Pay, then please support the #MeTooPay campaign instead. This is a new campaign, led by Dame Moya Greene, who are explicit about the distinction and are saying, quite rightly, that with the 50th anniversary of the Equal Pay Act taking place next year, cases of unequal pay should not be happening in this day and age.
The Royal Statistical Society (RSS) and I have published two articles to help employers better calculate and interpret their gender pay gaps. The first article lists 10 recommendations to improve the quality of gender pay gap reporting, the second is an article in Significance magazine which explores in more detail, two of the recommendations concerning medians and quartiles.