Women MPs Start #PayMeToo Campaign to Fix the Wage Gap in the United Kingdom

Illustration for article titled Women MPs Start #PayMeToo Campaign to Fix the Wage Gap in the United Kingdom
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A group of women members of parliament (MPs) from various party affiliations have launched #PayMeToo, a hashtag meant to push the UK to grapple with the gender pay gap across all industries.

The country’s 2010 Equality Act had a clause that comes into effect this month which requires companies with more than 250 employees to share their gender pay gap data if they have them. The official deadline was midnight on April 4, according to the Independent, though many companies have released their info early. The numbers have been stark, and caused considerable upheaval, notably at the BBC, where the salaries of women and men showed an enormous gap in pay.

In an essay for the Guardian, Labour MP Stella Creasy wrote that #PayMeToo is intended as a way to not just demonstrate that there is a gender pay gap, but to fix it. The clause is a first step, but there are concerns about how companies will handle this information in house:

Yet there are worrying reports already of women being told to “raise a grievance with HR” if they ask their managers about this data, or that talking about it could make them be seen as troublemakers. That’s why we started the “#PayMeToo” campaign – to give practical advice on how to talk about it at work and what rights employees have to do so, and show that MPs are ready to act if this conversation gets shut down.

We know that this is not the full story on inequality in the workplace – with some companies not including partnership data, which is not mandatory, and the sole focus being gender and not ethnicity, class or disability.


The MPs are asking that women workers take part in a survey to “help inform our work tackling the gender pay gap and fighting for equality in Britain.” They’re advising women to join trade unions, set up networks at their place of business for women, and talk with bosses and fellow employees about their salaries.

Meanwhile, the hits keep coming. On Thursday, Vice UK revealed they have a 18.2% wage gap between men and women on a mean basis; on a median basis the gap is 12.6%, Deadline reports. They have a total of 204 men and 211 women across all their businesses in the UK, which include television, fashion, and productions divisions.

They’re doing better than the UK arms of Hollywood studios. Sony’s Columbia Pictures Corporation has a “mean basis 23.5% more than women and 15.2% on a median basis,” Disney pays 22% more to men than women, and Amazon Video pays men a whopping “56% more than women on a mean basis and 40.1% on a median basis.” Yes, there better be next steps.

Contributing Writer, writing my first book for the Dial Press called The Lonely Hunter, follow me on Twitter @alutkin

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Mortal Dictata

It’s bizarre how with 8 years to get ready for this over 1500 companies have missed the deadline. Even then the data is quite crap in how basic it is, though it is a good move forward culturally, as you’re only forced to reveal the whole company as opposed to breakdowns by any realistic grade boundaries which would show up any discrepancies within paygrades (such as the use of junior and senior positions in the same role).


Also what do people think of calling it the “promotion gap” instead? Can’t help but think it makes more sense than “pay gap” as a descriptor since we’re measuring the spread of gender across the company as a whole and more highlighting the lack of diversity in higher reaches of management as opposed to pay in the same job at the same grade which pay gap conjures up.