Anonymous question
December 2016.

Isn’t pay inequality between men and women less important than the massive inequality between high earners and everyone else?

1 answer

Notif you’re a woman! It’s fair to say they are both important, but slightly separate questions. And there’s a link between them because one of the things that affects the mean level ofpay received by women is the fact that there’s still a glass ceiling. So the massive inequality between high earners and everyone else is actually a gender issue in itself, because the high earners tend tobe men. We know that over90%of executive roles goto men. The Lord Davies Reportexplored the approaches to increasing representation of women onFTSE100 boards toat least 25%by 2015. And companies have met that target, but when you look at the figures, most of the women who’vegoneinto the boardroom are in non-executive roles – those in executive roles are still at around 10%,So while women get into management roles they don’t getto the top. Governor of the Bank of England Mark Carney gave a speech about the damaging effectofpay inequalities atLiverpool John Moores University this week, and made it clear that it’s of crucial importance to address this right now. People have to feel the system is inclusive and working forthem, or you’re looking at a non-sustainable economic system. And this isexactly what’s in large part driving the rise of populist right wing politics, like Donald Trump winning the US election, a far right candidate almost winning the vote in Austria and the backlash against the mainstream political agenda in Italy. And these issues relating to wealth inequalities are wrappedupin gender, so it’s all important.