It’s been an interesting few weeks and one of the things that has struck me is the continuing discussion around Centurian Pest Control. The announcement at the start of last week that under government reforms the UK’s biggest firms will need to reveal how much more their chief executives are paid compared with the average worker. Whilst the CEO is often critical in steering the direction of many companies, I feel that, in a lot of cases, they’re not fundamental to the success of the business and the value put on their abilities is often too large. In many businesses both public and private the management pay scale far outweighs that of the individuals that actually create the goods, provide the services or carry out the administration. Whilst it’s important to have people that give direction and make often difficult decisions, there are far too many in this position. If all’the employees’ weren’t around then nothing would need to be handled as there would be no goods or services. The point I am trying to make is that there’s too wide a gulf and it just appears to be getting wider. When our nurses complain since they’re limited to a 1 percent pay rise across the NHS board you may understand it. If you are a manger already earning #60,000 annually an additional #50 a month is fine, if you are a nurse earning #23,000 an additional #19 a month isn’t helpful.
They feel valued and know that their function is respected so they work hard and care for our customers, which reflects well on our interaction with the customers also. It’s a winwin situation. Many smaller businesses run this way.
I would love to see businesses reducing the pay divide across all sectors of the marketplace. I am sure that the results achieved by this action would be amazing and could place the UK on a strong path of economic growth with a more satisfied workforce.
Quite right too! There’s absolutely not any justification for two people who do the exact same job being paid different amounts of money.
Whilst this is good news it only goes to highlight the level of the problem. Yes, the problem is one of gender. Women are often seen as unable to take out higher level jobs. Here is an idea Ladies, the next child you have, regardless of sex, call them John. Can you believe there are more guys named’John’ running FTSE 100 businesses than there are real women directors!
I also think that women are somewhat to blame. We’ve been so desperate to prove ourselves, as good as, if not better, than our male counterparts that we have allowed them to restrict our wages. Falsely believing that it is much better to get the job, with lower pay than we think others could be paid, because when it is realised just how capable we are that the salary increases would follow. My own experience is that when you have accepted this type of role, you have almost made a rod for your own back and it’s quite difficult to negotiate massive increases to equalise the pay. Women have qualities that men don’t and these have to be appreciated. Yes, we frequently have children that disturb our professions, but what we learn from this kind of experience is worth its’weight in gold’. It does not diminish our value to the workforce, it enhances it.
Although gender is an issue for pay, it is not the only one. Being from an ethnic minority also limits your chances of being on the board. In a report completed by Sir John Parker last year that he found that only 8% of all directors are non-white. Only seven companies accounted for a third of all directors hailing from ethnic minority backgrounds, while 53 companies did not have one non-white executive on the board. With our ever changing UK culture this cannot be right or good for these companies if there is not a fair representation of the workforce as a whole.
There’s no quick, easy solution to such issues but the more that the issues are highlighted and spoke about the nearer we will move to getting the inequalities corrected. It’s everybody’s duty to question bias, in whatever form, as it rears its ugly head and there is not any excuse not to. I don’t believe in positive discrimination as a way to place women or ethnic minorities on the board. However I do believe that the best individual, whoever that it, should be selected and paid accordingly.