Equal pay in practice can be messy and complex, but we don’t believe it has to be. Communication continues to serve as the saving grace for employers and yet, we continue to see cases of employers avoiding, rather than embracing equal pay. It's time for that to change.
There's no greater way to learn how to deal with pay equality claims confidently, than from examples of erroneous practice. When it comes to equal pay, there's no clearer example of the issue being handled clumsily, than the BBC's recent journey with the award winning journalist and previous China Editor, Carrie Gracie.
Carrie was thrown into an equal pay battle by the revelations of top salaries at the media company in 2017. This transparency brought into light the fact that, despite specifically requesting equal pay upon her appointment for the China Editor role, her pay was more than £65,000 (at least) short of Jon Sopel's who held the equivalent role for North America .
"If this had been about my case alone, I would certainly have drawn a line under it... But I knew this pay system was costing life-changing amounts of money to women who were less privileged and more vulnerable.' (Equal, 2019. P.213-214)
So what can we learn from Carrie's battle and the BBC's response that will make you a better employer? Below we share some thoughts directly from Carrie herself, and from her book which should sit, overflowing as it is with tenacity and drive for better workplaces, on each of your shelves at work: Equal: A Story of Women, Men & Money.