Disclosing salaries in job adverts could tackle gender pay gap

Employers who advertise salary details in job adverts will help to tackle the gender pay gap, according to the Young Women’s Trust.

Disclosing how much a potential applicant should make in the advertised role would lessen their chances of being under-paid or taken for granted. The women’s charity has therefore called on employers to include salary details when advertising job vacancies.

It said this would stop applicants being asked about their salary history.

A new YouGov survey for Young Women’s Trust found 40% of HR managers said jobs in their organisation are often advertised without details of the salary level.

Joe Levenson, director of communications and campaigns at Young Women’s Trust said often this means the wage will be based on the new employee’s previous salary, so if they were being underpaid that will continue in their new role. 

The lack of salary transparency can also make it impossible for employees to know if they are paid less than counterparts who are doing the identical role.

Levenson told HR magazine that by committing to show the salary with all job adverts, HR managers can make a vital difference in tackling the gender pay gap.

He said: “There is ample evidence that lack of pay transparency perpetuates existing pay inequalities, leading to certain groups, including women, to be underpaid.

“By changing their practices to include salary details with all job adverts, stopping asking applicants what they currently earn and publishing their parental leave policies, HR managers can help create a wider shift.”

Levenson said this is an essential step if employers really want to become fairer and more diverse.

Almost one in five (19%) HR managers said their organisation doesn't make details of its parental leave and pay entitlements publicly available to all potential job applicants.  

The charity has also called on employers to publish their parental leave policies.

Publishing parental leave policies would mean prospective employees considering having children aren’t faced with asking difficult questions before applying or at an interview, which may count against them.  

The Young Women’s Trust surveyed 862 employees working within HR and operations management between 11 and 17 February 2021.

How employers can tackle the gender pay gap:

Gender pay gap a priority when accepting a new job

The gender pay gap  - not just a squeeze on pockets

Employers taking action on gender pay