The number crunchers at the National Office of Statistics have released their provisional report on the annual hours and earnings for the UK.
You can read it HERE.
It was startling enough to read that the average full time wage in the UK is £27,600. Having recruited people within the construction sector for over 15 years, this figure looked low to me! The last trainee I helped a client hire started on c£25K basic, the last senior manager £70K plus bonus package.
I assume then, that although people say they are hard up working in construction, they do rather better than most employed people.
What caught my eye even more was this:
After 45 years of equal pay legislation in the UK and we still see a gender pay gap of almost 25% for skilled trades occupations.
Blimey, I feel for the women who choose to work in construction, particularly the trades side of the sector.
Not only would it seem they get paid up to 25% less than their male counterparts, but they will almost always be used in their employer's PR, plastered all over the media and company marketing materials as a good news story. Plus appear in every bid submission from the day they sign their contract as an example of their employers equality recruitment policies.
In recognition that the gender pay gap is still present after decades of legislation, we will soon see the introduction of mandatory pay gap reporting as part of the Equality Act 2010. So if you do any work funded by the public purse (which many of you do), it won’t be long before you see this being asked for within your bid submissions.
So, I call out to all leaders with the construction sector. Play fair now, imagine how you would feel if that was happening to your wife, daughter, sister or niece. I can’t think you’d be pleased about it.
I never thought writing this post, beginning with an official report on average pay rates would lead me to write about gender equality.
Gender equality is not just a female issue, it is a man’s too. It’s quite clear to me that men don’t have the benefits of equality either.
I’ve seen many men suffering from abnormal stresses, unable to ask for help for fear it would make them look “weak”—in fact in the UK, suicide is the biggest killer of men between 20-49 years of age. This is far more than road accidents, cancer and coronary heart disease.
I’ve seen men made fragile and insecure by a distorted sense of what constitutes success but I’ll save that for another day.
Do the right thing, in your heart you’ll know what that is for you.