Despite the turmoil and uncertainty that is Brexit, gender pay gap reporting remains at the forefront of many employers' agendas for the coming year. This is not least because of the fact that the Equality Act 2010 (Gender Pay Gap Information) Regulations 2016 are expected to come into force on 1 October 2016, with the first pay period for review beginning in April 2017.
Following his manifesto pledge, Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, has published a full gender pay audit of all City Hall's staff. The audit reveals the equivalent of a 4.6 per cent gender pay gap. This may seem low compared to the pay gap of 11.9 per cent for all full-time London workers. However, although more than half of City Hall's employees are female, the audit shows that only 41 per cent of senior staff earning £60,000 or more are female, and women only make up 29 per cent of the employees who earn over £100,000.
The Mayor has put plans in place to address this gap and increase the number of women taking up senior positions. Examples include mentoring for senior positions and increasing the part-time and flexible working options available. In addition, Mr Khan has called on the Greater London Authority and its functional bodies to carry out their own gender pay audits and ensure full pay equality across their workforce. Mr Khan states that his aim is to "make the Greater London Authority a model employer that removes any barriers to women, adopting the highest possible standards for fair pay, good working conditions and gender equality". The driving force behind this is Mr Khan's view that "it is unacceptable that in London ... someone's pay and career prospects can still be defined by their gender".
The emphasis on narrowing any gender pay gaps and promoting equality for women is ever increasing. Since his appointment as Mayor two months ago, Mr Khan has already appointed women to several top positions at City Hall, such as deputy mayor for transport, deputy mayor for policing and crime and deputy mayor for culture and creative industries. The focus placed on this issue is likely to be intensified with Theresa May's appointment as the UK's new prime minister (and the appointment of several female MPs to the Cabinet) and a potential female US president.
These recent developments are positive, especially considering the very limited provisions in the UK for positive gender discrimination. This progress shows that women can adopt positions of power despite the barriers they may face. However, many are of the view that limits to women's success, because of their gender, should not exist at all.
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