Sadiq Khan publishes guide to tackling gender pay gap

The mayor of London has published a toolkit for employers as the latest data on gender pay in the city reveals a “varied picture”

The gender pay gap at City Hall has fallen from 6.1% to 4.8% in the past year, the body's third gender pay gap report has revealed.

However, the data paints a varied picture when it comes to tackling the gender pay gap across the functional bodies of the Greater London Authority (GLA). While there has been a modest improvement at the core GLA and Metropolitan Police (from 12.5% in 2017 to 9.7% in 2018), the gap has widened slightly at Transport for London (TfL), where the median pay gap rose from 19.7% to 21.5%.

Three of the seven GLA Group organisations have a negative pay gap; meaning that women are on average paid more than men.

The mayor of London Sadiq Khan admitted that the data shows more work is needed to address the gap but said that he was ‘committed’ to improving pay disparities: “The data we have published... paints a varied picture. It does not make for comfortable reading but if we are to correct this injustice we must continue to highlight the gaps and the need for action.”

The release of City Hall’s third gender pay gap report comes as Khan also published the Our Time: Supporting Future Leaders toolkit to help employers across the city introduce his gender equality initiative into their workplaces and tackle “the shocking imbalance we still see in positions of power today”.

City Hall said that, while valuable, traditional approaches such as mentoring schemes are not enough to close the gender pay gap or help more women into senior positions.

Instead it is hoped that the Our Time initiative will provide women with a more structured route into senior positions, through offering a 12-month one-to-one sponsorship and a six-month career development programme. “As mayor I am determined to do everything in my power to address the gender pay gap that has existed unchallenged and hidden away for far too long,” Khan said.

Sam Smethers, chief executive of the Fawcett Society, welcomed the plans but said she would like to see mandatory publishing of employers’ action plans to close the gender pay gap.

“We welcome the lead the mayor is giving here. Getting more women into senior roles will help to close the pay gap. But we also need a statutory requirement on employers to publish their action plans and procurement used as a lever to drive change among companies contracted to work in the public sector,” she said.

The new guide has been released as the 4 April 2019 deadline nears for the second round of gender pay gap reporting for companies with 250 or more employees.