21% Gender Pay Gap at the Wellcome Trust
Women working at the Wellcome Trust, the UK’s largest charity and one of the biggest funders for biomedical research in the world, have been found to earn 21% less on average than their male co-workers. This information has come to light after the institution was required to make its records on gender and pay public, under new UK regulations.
The last few years have seen a number of high profile companies come under fire for the ‘gender pay gap’, a term used to describe the disparity between male and female employees working for a company. In an attempt to shed some light on the issue and reduce the wage gap, the UK government passed new legislation in April last year that requires all large companies (>250 staff) to make stored data regarding gender pay public. The Wellcome Trust is one of many organisations that have now been criticised for the newly identified imbalance.
The news was announced by the Wellcome Trust themselves in a to-the-point blog post published yesterday. The post is brief, but clear, and doesn’t shy away from the controversial topic, opening with the statement: “Today, we’re publishing Wellcome’s gender pay gap data. On 5 April 2017, we had a gender gap in median pay of 20.8%, slightly higher than the UK average of 18%.”
The article goes on to state that while women make up the majority of their workforce (roughly 64%), the highest-paid management roles are primarily filled with male employees. It is thought that it is this disparity which has caused the significant differences between wages for men and women. The post concludes by outlining the steps the organisation intends to take to eradicate the pay gap, including fairer recruitment, progression, and retention of senior female staff, improved tracking of diversity data, and staff training to combat biases.
“We have already begun working towards a balanced distribution of men and women throughout Wellcome,” the post reads. “As we learn more about the specific barriers that disadvantage certain groups from progressing in our workplace, we will remove them.
“In November 2016, Wellcome made Diversity and Inclusion a priority area. To broaden the diversity of people we fund, engage with and employ, we need to change some of our internal structures and practices. Many of the priority area changes we’re committed to will also help to reduce – and eventually eradicate – our gender pay gap.”
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