UK companies must “come clean” over gender imbalance in the workplace and reveal the “root cause” as to why women are paid less, TSB has warned.
The challenger bank is urging businesses to go further than government requirements to publish their gender pay data by next April, in order to “tackle the imbalance head on”.
TSB, which was acquired by Spanish lender Sabadell in 2015, believes companies should explain the reasons for the pay gap between men and women – including factors such as the composition of the workforce – rather than just report on the figures. The bank added that companies should then take action to address the issue and be held to account on the progress they are making.
TSB admitted that there is a pay gap in its workforce as a result of its business structure, with more men than women in senior roles. Some 59 per cent of men occupy senior management roles, compared to 41 per cent of women. The bank has a significantly higher proportion of women, 69 per cent, than men in non-senior management positions.
TSB said that if it achieved a 50-50 gender mix in non-senior roles, the pay gap would reduce by 23 percentage points. An equal split in senior positions would reduce the gap by a further seven percentage points. The bank is targeting this mix, but has not committed to a specific timeframe.
The warning comes after the government said that UK companies employing more than 250 people must publish on the government website their gender pay and bonus gaps by next April. TSB is aiming to publish next week.
But some industry experts are concerned that companies will wait until the deadline next year before publishing their data in order to hide among the other businesses.
The requirement covers about 9,000 employers with 15m staff, roughly half the UK workforce, and forms part of the Conservative’s flagship policy to tackle inequalities in the workplace.
Only a handful of the 9,000 companies have published data, with only five complying a month after the initiative was launched.