March 8, 2019

On International Women’s Day: Smaller Firms are Closing the Gender Pay Gap Quickest

March 8th marks International Women’s Day, and with this year’s theme set to be “#BalanceforBetter” we have taken a look at the Govt figures to understand the Gender Pay ‘balance’ a year on since Gender Pay Gap was first reported.

The stats show that smaller employers are doing more to close the gender pay gap than larger companies. The female pound (the amount that women earn compared to men) is worth around 87.6p for women employed by SMEs for every £1 earned by men, compared to the 85.31p earned by women working at larger companies.

Female Pound by Business Size

And while the disparity in the female pound is still an area for real concern, the pay gap at the UK’s smaller employers is also closing faster than it is at larger firms.

Companies employing between 250 – 499 staff have cut their gender pay gap by 2.35% based on gender pay data submitted so far for 2018, compared to 2017 figures, while companies employing between 5,000 – 19,999 employees have closed their gender pay gap by just 0.41%.

Smaller businesses are leading the way in closing the pay gap as they compete with larger employers to attract and retain the best talent.

This competition has seen many SMEs offer a salary and benefits package that is as good, and often better, than that provided by larger firms.

smaller businesses are succeeding in addressing female pay disparity more effectively than many larger employers

Our HR Technology & Services Director, Michelle Hobson, said:

“While there is work to do, our analysis suggests that smaller businesses are succeeding in addressing female pay disparity more effectively than many larger employers.

This may seem counter-intuitive at first, as we assume larger companies will provide better pay and benefits, but the reality is that smaller firms have to compete for the same talent and are often more aware of the value that each staff member brings to their business.

Many of the SME businesses we work with are looking to provide a wide range of pay and non-pay benefits in a bid to rival corporate counterparts. They are looking to provide greater flexibility and choice to staff on how they take their remuneration and how they structure packages and pay equality is a key part of that.”

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About the author

Stuart Clough

Stuart (MCIPR) is a trained journalist, writer and marketer with ten years' experience in B2B, public sector and employee communications. A former marketing consultant and agency client-lead, Stuart is responsible for communications and content at Moorepay.