British Women Are Tired Of Waiting for Equal Pay

The U.K. adopted an equal pay law over 45 years ago, and British women have waited ever since to see the promise of that law become reality. Now, they refuse to spend another minute waiting for what they deserve.

In April, the U.K. passed a law requiring companies with over 250 employees to release their mean and median gender pay gap figures within one year. The law affects approximately half the entire workforce–about 9,000 companies and 15 million employees.

“This data will show the spread of male and female earners across an organisation, helping to show employers where women’s progress might be stalling so they can take action to support their career development,” the government said in a press release.

Currently, the gender pay gap in the UK is about 14%, though some estimates show it’s even higher, making it one of the biggest gaps in Europe.

In the last several months, pay gap data released from major British companies have caused some women to dig in their heels and demand immediate change.

After learning that women earn 13 percent less than their male colleagues, journalists at the Financial Times threatened to strike unless the company take action to correct its pay gap. They held an emergency meeting and demanded that the company bump up its 2020 deadline to address the gap.

At the BBC, 40 women wrote an open letter demanding immediate action after the company revealed that men make up two-thirds of their top earners.

“You have said that you will ‘sort’ the gender pay gap by 2020, but the BBC has known about the pay disparity for years,” they wrote in the letter. “We all want to go on the record to call upon you to act now.”

The BBC’s highest-paid male star earned five times the highest-paid female star.

The Church of England also released its pay data and revealed a horrifying 40 percent gap between men and women.

As expected, requiring British companies to release pay data has shown a wide and persistent gender pay gap and it’s making women pissed.

What’s too often missing from pay gap legislation is any kind of enforcement. Companies that refuse to comply can feel confident there won’t be any repercussions, at least not legally. That’s in part because many of these laws focus primarily on information. It makes sense. Before you can solve a problem you have to know how big it is and why it exists.

New laws in Britain and Germany require companies of a certain size to submit pay gap information. They expect that women will use this information to advocate for themselves, but that’s not always realistic. Many women don’t feel comfortable requesting the information from their company or negotiating for a raise once they have it. Or, they fear repercussions.

If we’re going to continue putting laws like this in place, they have to result in some kind of measurable change. And it can’t be on each individual woman to enact that change for herself, it has to be an institutional change.

Gathering pay gap data is important, because we can only see what progress we’ve made when we know where we started. But when are we going to start? When are we going to hold companies accountable for their actions, or rather their inaction? When are we going to tell women, okay, we know what the problem is and now we’re going to fix it and we’re not going to take 100 years to do it? It’s time for you to get what you deserve.

British women have had enough of empty promises. They’re not going to wait another 45 years; they’re not even going to wait another two. Instead, they’re organizing, advocating, and standing up for themselves and their sisters until they get what they deserve.

British women aren’t going to wait. And neither should we.

Photo Credit: Alejandra Higareda

62 comments

Paulo R
Paulo Reeson16 days ago

ty

SEND
Paulo R
Paulo Reeson16 days ago

ty

SEND
Margie FOURIE
Margie FOURIE28 days ago

Women will never earn the same as me. We have to many feminine issues which we play on. Once we prepared to work the same as men, then we will be appreciated.

SEND
Maureen Heartwood
Maureen Heartwoodabout a month ago

I'm tired of the fact that this is still a thing.

SEND
Clare O
Clare Oabout a month ago

British women will have to move to India and get sex changes then as the BBC is about to outsource all its IT work to India where it will be done by men working for the lowest rate.

SEND
Philippa P
Philippa Powersabout a month ago

Thanks.

SEND
ANA MARIJA R
ANA MARIJA Rabout a month ago

In the times of awakening we All have responsibility and obligation to use our power... and never give up!

SEND
Little A
Little Aabout a month ago

Whatever.
Is it really that much difference for the same work and load? I feel there's no real comparison since such situations don't exist much and if you count non-working mothers into the working women's account, wouldn't it be around 76%?

When men were sole breadwinners, we lived on one paycheck. When women began working out of home, there was an increase of income and that became the new standard. Now we all must have two incomes to survive. It's getting ridiculous.
The more the general level of income is, the more things cost resulting in zero increase GDP.
But again, your ego, that's what matters.

SEND
One Heart i
One Heart incabout a month ago

Thanks!!!

SEND
Tanya W
Tanya Wabout a month ago

Thank you for sharing. I wish equality was a given

SEND