Gender pay gap in spotlight at Jersey business event

Women's pay in Jersey was top of the agenda at a business event today.

The Assistant Chief Minister said although businesses will be asked to voluntarily publish their gender pay figures next year, the States will consider making it mandatory.

Connétable Richard Buchanan was speaking at a diversity network event this morning where people were sharing ideas on how to close the gap.

Credit: ITV Channel TV

Connétable Buchanan said: "If companies do not publish gender pay gap data they will consider legislation forcing companies to publish such data."

He says the States is committed to having a totally balanced workforce at the top.

Some companies that operate through best practice will do it but not all companies will do it. And I think it's important to shine the spotlight on this issue. So I have been speaking to Deputy Doublet about bringing legislation forward to bring it into the public domain.

Connétable Richard Buchanan, Assistant Chief Minister & States Employment Board
Credit: ITV Channel TV

What is the 'pay gap'?

  • It is described as the difference in the average pay of two different groups of people, male and female. Such as sections of the community that are significantly under-represented across business's boards and senior management teams.

It is currently calculated that the gender pay gap across the Channel Islands is around 21%, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC).

PWC's 2019 Channel Island's Women in Work Index says increasing female employment rates to match Sweden's rates would potentially give Jersey's GDP a 6% boost.

There is an 18.3% gender pay difference in Jersey's government. Credit: ITV Channel TV

This follows the government's summer report which found factors like Gender Stereotypes, the glass ceiling and domestic and caring responsibilities still influence the gender pay gap.

Stuart Richford from Sionic Global said: "Some current gender pay gap stats are not pretty but we can only act from where we are now, acknowledge the problem and take steps to deal with it."

He says this is a leadership challenge which must be overcome: recognise that women may put themselves forward for promotion less than men and bosses need to do more to recognise their skills and help them to overcome challenges to progress.

What is the 'seniority gap'?

  • It is described as affecting people from ethnic minority groups and those with disabilities. Business boards with greater ethnic diversity are 35% more likely to out perform their competitors, according to McKinsey.

The Polish Consul, Magda Chmielewska says people from her background who are very well qualified feel they are missing out on opportunities because of language and cultural barriers.

  • Charlotte Gay reports...