The #MeTooPay Movement – Stamping Out Unequal Pay For Good (6 March 2020)

The #MeTooPay Movement – Stamping Out Unequal Pay For Good

This Sunday, 8th March, people around the world will be celebrating International Women’s Day.

One might wonder why, in today’s age, we still need an International Women’s Day – an excellent question!

The answer is, sadly, that worldwide there is still a lack of equality for women including in the workplace. And here in the UK we still have work to do too.

Still work to do…

The UK Equal Pay Act was introduced in 1970, making it illegal to pay a woman less than a man for doing work of ‘equal value’.

However, nearly 50 years later, in September 2019, journalist Eva Szalay covered the employment tribunal case of Stacey Macken vs French bank BNP Paribas in the Financial Times. Ms Macken’s case showed that she was paid significantly less than her male peers, and was subjected to “direct sex discrimination and victimisation” throughout her employment, as a result of her being treated as “a junior” to her colleague purely on the basis of her sex. She won her case and sued the bank for £4 million.

As a remuneration consultant specialising in Responsible Reward, I was asked to comment on the case for the FT article (which you can read here).

This article caught the attention of Dame Moya Greene, OC, DBE. Dame Moya has a distinguished career, including the past CEO position at both the Royal Mail and Canada Post, and numerous board memberships.

She was appalled that, even though legislation has been in place for decades, women are still fighting discrimination in the workplace. Ms Macken’s case isn’t the only current high-profile lawsuit of this nature.

2019/2020 has seen the BBC in court defending itself over allegations from Samira Ahmed with about 20 other cases relating to unequal pay heading to employment tribunal and a further 120 pursuing gender pay complaints against the corporation.

Ms Ahmed won her case, and the ruling was a unanimous decision by the tribunal. She had claimed that she was owed almost £700,000 in back pay and was awarded an undisclosed financial settlement.

Dame Moya realised that, in large organisations, CEOs can be removed from these type of cases, even though they represent big financial and reputational risks for the organisation. She was so touched by Stacey’s story that she decided to do something about it and reached out to her senior female network. Within 24 hours, she had 100 signatories endorsing her #MeTooPay Campaign, inspired by the success #metoo campaign.

Equal Pay and the Gender Pay Gap

Over the last couple of years, there has been a lot of discussion around the mandatory reporting of ‘Gender Pay Gap’. The Gender Pay Gap is the difference in hourly earnings between the median man and the median woman of a given organisation.

The #MeTooPay Campaign is about unequal pay as defined in the 1970 Equal Pay Act.

What is the #MeTooPay Campaign?

The #MeTooPay Campaign is an apolitical movement pushing for the end of illegal pay discrimination. Over 100 of the UK’s leading women have signed a pledge to:

EDUCATE so that…

  •     the true extent of pay discrimination is understood
  •     employees know what to do if they think they are being treated unfairly
  •     managers know about how to detect, address and end pay discrimination

ENCOURAGE …

  •     transparency around pay and speaking with confidence
  •     experts to come forward to offer their insight
  •     men to support the campaign for change

Since the campaign started, Dame Moya has set up her Senate and Steering Committee and kindly invited me to join it as its Remuneration Adviser. The Committee, also comprising board members, media celebrities and senior business professionals, sets objectives and priorities for the campaign.

The #MeTooPay movement needs you

Whether you’re an employee, man or woman, an investor, an employer or an adviser in the equal pay space, we want to hear from you.

By sharing your stories, others will know they’re not alone and can learn from your experiences and insight. We provide practical support, advice and guidance, ensuring that your stories are treated confidentially. JOIN US NOW!

Your story can make a real difference – together we can finally make pay discrimination history.

Corinne Carr is an independent remuneration consultant specialising in Responsible Reward and founder of PeopleNet Ltd.  Read her Responsible Reward: how to fulfil your environmental, social and governance promises through performance and pay and watch her 2-minute video. www.peoplenet.ltd.uk