Pay inequality between the sexes has for a long time been a point of tension for the gender rights and equality movement. Even those that don’t consider themselves necessarily a gender rights activist or feminist would be hard pushed to find any reason to pay one person less than another with the same skills for the same job. However, a recent report from the Workplace Gender Equality Agency’s (WEGA) released in November 2020 has found that whilst workplace gender pay inequality has reduced over all, it has continued to widen within the construction industry.
Libby Lyons, WEGA’s Director, commented that it was positive that “data shows that the gender pay gap continued to close, with the total remuneration gap dropping by 0.7 percentage points to 20.1%.” However, she is the first to also acknowledge the limitations of this development: “there has been a worrying drop of 6.1 percentage points in employers taking action on closing their pay gaps. Sadly, only 54.4% of employers who did a gender pay gap analysis took action to close the gaps.”
Shockingly, or maybe not shockingly for some, construction was found to be one of the worst industries for a gender pay gap. The report found an average of 26.1 per cent difference in the pay between men and women across the construction industry. The National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) has pointed out this is actually an increase since 2019 that is a 0.1 per cent increase in the gap, equiveling roughly $36,361 in total remuneration between the genders each year.
A positive increase elsewhere in the report has seen the number of female CEOs increasing roughly 1 per cent on last year’s figures. Females now account for about 18.3 per cent of CEOs across the construction industry. Another pleasing growth in the sector is the female representation on company boards increasing to an average of 28.1 per cent.