The gender pay gap has been a topic of conversation throughout 2018 with the heightened publicity surrounding the BBC’s salaries, and over 10,000 UK firms including JP Morgan and Ryanair, exposing the extent of its salary differences just last month.
The pay gap is clearly an issue across a number of industries and it isn’t just apparent in big brands and firms. Recent research from Cranberry Panda has revealed that men in the ecommerce industry are earning on average 26% more than women. We can assume that the varying salaries for those over the age of 35 can be due to the different levels they work at, with some just starting out in this industry and others at board level.
Others may be more likely to work part time, with less working full time due to aspects such as family life. But why is there a gender pay gap in the e-commerce industry for those aged under 35? And does this gap appear to be narrowing as widespread discussions about gender equality are changing people’s perceptions on this topic for the better?
Inequality isn’t a new discussion
Historically, there has always been inequalities between men and women, and this isn’t just limited to the workplace. Previously, a hierarchical view was adopted that saw men labelled as ‘more important than women’. Luckily this view isn’t the case anymore, yet women still appear to be discriminated against.
Women were only granted the right to vote in 1918 and although this was a whole century ago, society still shows favorability to men over women, with some jobs still being viewed as ‘boy jobs’ and others as women’s work.
Discrimination against women in the e-commerce industry, particularly those under 35, is very prominent. Two thirds (65%) of women under 35 are earning under 35,000 a year compared to only 35% of men within this age bracket.
Is the gap narrowing?
There is still a lot of work that needs to be done to tackle this issue of gender equality. It would be great to see these inequalities disappear overnight, but sadly this will not be the case. Whilst the pay gap is showing positive signs of narrowing, it is still going to take some time to become an equal playing field for both genders.
Despite men earning an average of £14,000 per year more than women, there are however several roles where women have turned the tables and appear to be earning more than men. In head of department roles, women appear to be earning an average of 10% more than men. However at board level roles, men appear to be earning significantly more than women.
It is clear that women’s salaries are on the rise. Research has found that less women are earning under £25,000 per year, and instead more seem to be earning within the £25-£35k and even £55-£75k brackets. Whereas men’s salaries appear to have remained consistent with the greatest change being within the £55-£70k ranges, where 3% less men are earning this amount compared to the previous year.
There has been a great deal of discussion around gender equality, particularly so in the last few months. In April 2018, corporate businesses were legally obligated to publish a report on their gender pay gap findings. The widespread discussion about the topic in the media is putting a great deal of pressure on industries around the world to extinguish the gender pay gap and treat men and women equally.
The discussion has already led to a number of companies reviewing their processes including global businesses such as the BBC. In July 2017, it was revealed that there was a 1.75 million difference between the BBC’s highest earning man and highest earning woman, putting a spotlight on just how much more men were earning over women.
This was widespread news and led to six of the BBC’s highest earning presenters agreeing to take pay cuts. With research finding that women in the e-commerce industry saw their pay increase in the last 12 month, it may only be a matter of time until we see more equal pay across both genders at different levels within a business. The huge discussions around this issue in recent months is sure to play a part in the likelihood of this gap narrowing in the coming year.
By Jonathan Hall, founder and CEO of Cranberry Panda, an e-commerce recruitment agency with a passion for online retail.