By Kirsten Tisdale
The deadline has now passed and 10016 employers including more than 3000 companies with 250+ employees had submitted data by the morning of the 5th April 2018. Of those, 406 were in transport and storage (SIC codes starting 49-53) including both logistics and passenger transport as well as storage and cargo handling for all modes. But whatever I report, the figures will continue to change – for instance, there were more than 70 organisations burning the midnight oil and making their submissions after 10 o’clock last night!
The choice of measures the government selected for this exercise are not great – I’m reminded of the old joke, that if you wanted to go there, you wouldn’t start from here. But we are where we are.
Any pay gap figures I’ve used here refer to the difference in median hourly rates – the median is a better measure than mean for this, as it effectively removes the impact of a small group of low paid apprentices or a very highly paid CEO. The medians are established by putting all the women in one row in order of pay and picking the person in the middle, and similarly, but separately, for the men. A gender pay gap does not mean that women in the same role are being paid differently to men, it means that the median woman is being paid differently to the median man. If there are proportionately less senior women then the median woman is likely to be from a lower pay rate than the median man.
The median pay gap in transport and storage is lower than general – 6.65% compared with 9.9% across other sectors, and it would be lower still if a few companies that have featured in various headlines were excluded. But this piece isn’t about naming and shaming!
The story that comes out for our sector is about lack of women generally (17.3% of employees compared with 49% across other sectors), and it’s also about lack of women in senior positions - the proportion of women in our sector making it into higher paid brackets shows a bigger drop-off than average across other sectors.
Now, on the logistics side, you might argue that the lack of women is due to the physicality of some of the tasks that need to be undertaken, and indeed manoeuvring loaded roll-cages is referred to by one of the companies in its submission. But the proportion of females employed is actually lower for passenger transport, and any physical aspects of the job certainly don’t explain why women aren’t getting promoted to the same degree.
The submissions on what companies have found and what they intend to do will make interesting reading …and next year will be the interesting one, as this year was a bit “bring out your dead”!