Equal pay creates a higher quality of leadership, and in turn better organisational performance
The big picture
Although the difference in pay increases for men and women revealed in Inside Housing’s annual chief executive salary survey last week sends a worrying signal, it’s good that female CEOs continue to earn at equivalent levels, or even just above in a few cases. However, there is no scope for complacency when the more telling statistic is how few women CEOs there actually are in the sector’s biggest organisations.
A lower increase in their pay could have a negative impact on the number of women entering these roles, or the industry as a whole, for fear of being left behind men on the issue of pay if current trends continue. It is important for female managers to have role models at the top of organisations and for female talent to be nurtured in male dominated industries, such as housing.
Equal pay helps to retain and attract the best employees and managers, which in turn will help with staff engagement, the productivity of the workforce and organisational performance as a whole. There is a clear business case for equal pay and evidence shows that companies with women on boards outperform their rivals in terms of sales, invested capital and return on equity. Businesses need to make sure they are supporting women and getting female talent into these senior management positions, and that the barrier of pay is not getting in the way. If men in senior management continue to receive an increase in pay at a higher rate than women, it closes gender doors that we need open to improve the quality of managers in this sector and the UK as a whole. In tough economic times, we need to eradicate issues of unequal pay and concentrate on improving management standards across the board, for men and women.
Patrick Woodman is policy and research manager at the Chartered Management Institute