April 2019 was the second time that large UK companies have been required to report their gender pay gap data – showing the difference in average hourly pay between men and women across an organisation. Helen Kelly looks at UK maritime employers to see how they fared in the challenge of closing the gap since their last report
On 5 April 2019, all UK companies with more than 250 employees were due to report their gender pay data. This is only the second year that gender pay pap reporting has been mandated under the Equality Act 2010, and we are pleased to report that close to 100% of our target employers required to file a report hit that deadline.
In total, 27 large employers of Nautilus members were required to report data. For the purposes of this article, we will refer to these organisations as Nautilus target companies. Reporting companies sit across the maritime industry, and include ro-ro, cruise and ferry, container lines, tanker operators, offshore supply and ports.
Some maritime companies, such as BP Shipping, had their gender pay gap data rolled into the wider business, which meant we could not drill down to specific details. As such, BP Shipping was removed from our analysis.
The Royal Fleet Auxiliary data was reported as part of the Ministry of Defence (MoD) civilian agencies, which also include Defence Electronics & Components Agency (DECA), Defence Equipment & Support (DE&S), Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl), and the UK Hydrographic Office (UKHO).
In the first reporting year, 2017/2018, the overall MoD civilian agencies' median pay gap was 10.9% – meaning that for every £1 a man was paid per hour, women were paid 81 pence.
Data for the reporting year 2018/2019 had not been filed by the time this article went to press in the May 2019 Nautilus Telegraph, so we have removed MoD civilian agencies from the analysis.
What exactly is the gender pay gap?
The gender pay gap is the difference between the average hourly earnings of a company’s male and female employees (excluding overtime). If an organisation has a 20% pay gap, that means women earn, on average, 20% less per hour – or 80p for every £1. A negative gender pay gap means women earn on average more than men per hour.
Gender pay gap figures do not show that individual men and women are being paid differently for doing the same or equivalent work, which is illegal under the Equal Pay Act 1970. Instead, a gender pay gap is calculated across an organisation, and tends to indicate that there are more men than women in senior positions or other prestigious roles.
Companies are required to report their mean and median gender pay gaps, the difference in average bonus paid to men and women, and how many men and women are in each quartile of the firm’s salary amounts.
Companies are also encouraged to provide supporting documents in their report, to explain some of the reasons why a gender pay gap may be present, and what the organisation intends to do to close it.
While not mandatory, these supporting documents can help promote a better understanding of the raw data.
Across all UK businesses required to report, the gender pay gap fell between 2017/2018 and 2018/2019 to stand at 8.6% among full-time employees, according to the Office for National Statistics.
The gap among all employees is higher at 17.9%, driven by more women working in part-time jobs.
Whatever the sector or occupation, part-time jobs tend to be considered less prestigious and attract a lower average hourly wage of £9.36 – compared with £14.31, excluding overtime, for full-time jobs. Women are also more likely than men to work in occupations such as administration and caring, which generally offer lower salaries.
Each company's circumstances will be different, but the important next step is to demonstrate a clear understanding of what is causing pay gaps and committing to actions that, over time, will reduce those.
Firms need to address traditional male/female role divisions, the lack of female representation at senior levels and why women tend to work in lower-paid roles. Many are already doing this by promoting STEM subjects for female students at schools and universities to help increase female recruitment; considering work/life balance; introducing flexible working options for both men and women; and supporting women to advance through their careers.
Many companies are starting to ask whether their recruitment processes are biased, or why women are not progressing at the same rate as men or are choosing to opt out and not return to the workforce.
Some are considering, or have set, targets for the number of female applicants, hires and promotions or women in executive positions.
In early 2018, the industry body Maritime UK launched a Women in Maritime Taskforce. This led to the creation of the Women in Maritime Charter, which offers a framework to challenge companies to make progress on diversity, and will be supported by a suite of resources to help companies realise their own internal targets for, among other things, closing the gender pay gap. Nautilus is a member of Maritime UK and takes an active role in the Women in Maritime Taskforce.
In addition, the Nautilus Women’s Forum provides an opportunity for female members to engage in discussions on the specific challenges facing women in maritime.
- To find out more about the gender pay gap and the requirement to file a report, go to www.gov.uk and search for gender pay gap reporting.