It’s been an interesting few weeks and one of the things that has struck me is the continuing discussion around Palm Bay Pest Control. The announcement at the beginning of last week that under government reforms that the UK’s biggest firms might have to reveal how much more their chief executives are compensated compared with the average worker. Whilst the CEO is often critical in steering the management of several companies, I feel that, in a lot of cases, they’re not fundamental to the success of that company and the value placed on their skills is often too high. In many businesses both public and private the management pay scale far outweighs that of the people that actually make the goods, provide the services or carry out the administration. Whilst it is important to have people that give direction and make often difficult choices, there are far too many in this position. If all’the employees’ were not around then nothing would need to be managed because there would be no goods or services. The point I am trying to make is that there is too wide a gulf and it only appears to be getting wider. When our nurses complain because they are limited to a 1% pay rise across the NHS board you may understand it. If you’re a manger already earning #60,000 annually an additional #50 a month is fine, if you are a nurse earning #23,000 an extra #19 a month is not helpful.
They feel valued and know that their role is respected so that they work hard and look after our clients, which reflects well on our interaction with the clients also. It is a win, win situation. Many smaller companies run this way.
I would love to find businesses reducing the pay divide across all sectors of the marketplace. I am sure that the results achieved by this action would be amazing and could place the UK on a strong path of economic growth with a more satisfied work force.
In the previous week it was revealed that Holly Willoughby had her This Morning salary increased by #200,000 to match that of her co presenter Phillip Schofield. There is no justification for two people who do the exact same job being paid different amounts of money.
Whilst this is good news it only goes to underline the level of the problem. If high profile’celebrities’ such as Holly have been paid less for the same work, what chance is there for others in ordinary jobs? Yes, the issue is one of sex. Women are often seen as unable to take out higher level jobs. Here’s an idea Ladies, the next kid you have, regardless of gender, call them John. Can you believe there are more guys named’John’ running FTSE 100 companies than there are real women directors!
I also feel that women are slightly to blame. We’ve been so desperate to prove ourselves, as good as, if not better, than our male counterparts that we’ve allowed them to limit our salaries. Falsely believing that it is much better to find the job, with lesser pay than we think others would be paid, because when it’s realised exactly how capable we are that the salary increases would follow. My own experience is that once you have accepted this type of role, you have made a rod for your own back and it is very difficult to negotiate massive increases to equalise the pay. The time has come for us to stop undervaluing ourselves. Yes we want the jobs but on the same basis as anyone else. Women have qualities that men do not and these have to be appreciated. Yes, we frequently have kids that disturb our professions, but what we learn from this kind of experience is worth its’weight in gold’. It doesn’t diminish our value to the work force, it enhances it.
Although gender is an issue for pay, it is not the only one. In a report completed by Sir John Parker last year he found that only 8% of all directors are non-white. Only seven firms accounted for a third of all directors hailing from ethnic minority backgrounds, while 53 companies didn’t have a single non-white executive on the board. With our ever changing UK civilization this can’t be good or right for these companies if there is not a fair representation of the workforce as a whole.
There’s not any quick, simple solution to such problems but the more that the issues are highlighted and spoke about the nearer we will move to obtaining the inequalities corrected. It is everyone’s duty to question bias, in whatever form, when it rears its ugly head and there’s absolutely not any excuse not to. I don’t believe in positive discrimination for a way to put women or ethnic minorities on the board. However I do believe that the best individual, whoever that it, ought to be selected and paid accordingly.