AS A MAN in a management position I am on dodgy ground when I start talking about fair pay between the sexes.
I like to think – or have been persuaded to think – I am being paid a fair salary benchmarked against someone else in my position – male or female. But I am sure that has not always been the case.
The Government report out this week that reveals full-time women workers are being paid 17% less than men is sadly not that surprising. New Labour proudly points to its record of introducing improved rights for employees in many areas, be it hourly pay, flexible working or basic terms and conditions.
On the face of it, it’s all worthy stuff, but on the flip side it has made it much harder and potentially more expensive for employers to get rid of unproductive staff.
The cost of employing any staff is higher than it has ever been and even more acute in the small business world of the travel agent. Blanket yearly salary increases are increasingly a thing of the past with most employees now expected to negotiate any salary increases, bonus structures or working conditions for themselves.
And there’s the rub. In too many instances those that shout loudest or longest end up being paid more. And if the Government figures are right it appears men are shouting louder and longer than women.
Employers in the travel industry that are not ensuring a level playing field between their male and female employees should be brought to account. With such a high female workforce this sector should lead the field when it comes to fair and flexible pay and working conditions.
This week’s Shine Awards to recognise the achievements of women in the sector demonstrates how far up the corporate ladder women in this sector are. A woman may not hold any of the top jobs at any of the Big Four, but surely it is only a matter of time.
The onus on whether you’re being paid the fair and right wage should rest with the employer, but ultimately lies with you. If you think your boss is not treating you fairly then tell them, and if they take no notice, go and work for someone who does.