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Keeping ‘mum’ or  going ‘public’?

Keeping ‘mum’ or going ‘public’?

Mark.Freed / 02 Oct 2017

Here at E2W, we face problems and opportunities on a daily basis - big and small - that's the nature of business.  I worry most about hidden problems and missed opportunities, those that no one recognises.  These represent risks to the business or a failure to improve.

I enjoy helping my colleagues with a problem or opportunity even if there isn’t an obvious solution or next step, I like the challenge and problem solving.  

But I also really appreciate those that come to me with a problem or opportunity and a solution that we can bounce around.  Collaboration makes for a successful business.

 I am keeping a keen eye on the Government’s Gender Pay Gap reporting website, and of course, in particular, scrutinising the financial services’ firms’ data. 
Aldermore Group PLC and Octopus Capital are only the third and fourth financial services’ firms to report their figures (after TSB and Virgin) and both employ less than 1500 people – so at the smaller end of financial services’ firms. We must applaud them for submitting their figures but unfortunately, the figures continue the financial services’ trend and are disappointing: the average woman at Aldermore gets paid 30-35% less than the average man, whilst at Octopus the figure is between 38 -40%.  
The figures are perhaps not surprising and the cause, as always, seems to be that more men hold senior positions within the firm and therefore earn the big money.  What is interesting, now that they’ve identified and reported the problem (or opportunity), is their proposed solution - what they say they are doing to address the gap.  
Aldermore, who, like E2W, are a signatory to the Women in Finance Charter, have produced a report, explaining the challenges they face with regard to the gender pay gap and the actions they are taking to address them.  This is extremely positive and allows us, as interested onlookers, to monitor their progress and offer solutions.  

Aldermore, you appear to be the type of firm where our members would love to pursue their careers – we would love to help you meet your targets.

Conversely, Octopus appear to be keeping ‘mum’ on their figures and so far, don’t appear to have proposed a solution; they don’t seem, outwardly at least, to be participating in the ‘gender agenda’.  

Octopus, we would like to help you become the type of firm where E2W members would like to work!  We’d love to help you solve your gender pay gap problem and collect the gender dividend.  Grab this opportunity to demonstrate your culture.  Collaboration makes for a successful business.

 It will be interesting to see what position other firms take in the coming months.  I would advise them to think ahead, collaborate if necessary, and publish solutions alongside their figures.

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