Industry welcomes gender pay gap reveal

The event industry supports David Cameron's move to implement a law that requires companies with 250 employees or more reveal their gender pay gap.

The event industry supports David Cameron's proposed gender pay gap reveal (iStock)
The event industry supports David Cameron's proposed gender pay gap reveal (iStock)

On Tuesday (14 July) Cameron announced that by the first quarter of next year companies could be required to publish the difference between the average earnings of their male and female employees.

If the results of Event's 2015 #EventCareers poll are anything to go by, this could impact on the event industry considerably.

The poll revealed 15% of men in the industry earn £70,000+ compared to just 1% of women, meanwhile 76% of managing director positions are held by men.

Event spoke to four event companies and agencies with 250 or more employees to gauge their opinion on the proposed law.

Nothing to hide

At event services company Concerto Group, gender isn’t an underlying factor when it comes to wages.

Chief executive Teresa-Ann Dunleavey-Bell told Event: "We make no distinction between pay levels for men and women so this government move for greater transparency presents no difficulty whatsoever.  

"It's just not an issue for us. We pay what we need to pay to attract and retain the best people in the right roles... gender is irrelevant. I'd have no issue disclosing salary information so long as it protects the privacy of individuals, obviously."

Maria Anderson, talent director, international markets at Momentum Worldwide, explained gender is similarly not a determining factor when it comes to an employee's rate of pay.

"At Momentum Worldwide, we are gender neutral in terms of our salary banding. To disclose payment information based on gender under the proposed law would reflect our own internal approach to the subject. Also, if the law were passed, as a responsible corporate citizen, Momentum Worldwide would comply with and abide by the law," she said.

Nicky Morgan, group talent director at TRO added: "We welcome David Cameron's initiative to eliminate the gender pay gap 'within a generation'. We can only really comment on our own policy where employees are paid based on their area of expertise and level, regardless of gender."

Supportive of the move

Anderson noted that the gender pay gap spans many industries, and that the agency praises the government for proposing the new law.

"We do applaud the approach of the government in facilitating open and honest communication regarding the pay gap between genders, an issue that needs to be examined, scrutinised and resolved, in a number of industries, including the media and marketing sectors, for a fair and balanced policy on pay, regardless of nationality, gender or sexual orientation."

In reference to Event’s career poll, Morgan explained the issue is more about mentoring women into senior and board positions.

"[This is] something that we absolutely support and are looking to drive within TRO. We continue to invest in training and development initiatives to equip our staff with the best skills and knowledge to succeed in this industry and a large part of this is providing the right culture to encourage more women into senior leadership roles," she said.

Diversity in the workplace

In reference to women in the workplace, Michael Brown, managing director at PS Live believes it should be the norm that women make up half of a company.

"It is preposterous that women, who represent exactly half the population should be included in a diversity quota. The actual minimum benchmark standard should be representative of the population, so all companies should look 50/50 or thereabouts at all levels of seniority," he said.

He noted however, that diversity within the media industry at least isn't always achieved."If you look at the workforce in media, overwhelmingly the outlook is bleak for diversity – privileged backgrounds, middle class, white. A group of like-minded people from identical backgrounds with no insight into how other demographics have been shaped leads to the wrong campaign ideas regardless of how good your consumer insight is."

The responses were collated by Event's editorial team, comprising Katie Deighton, Georgi Gyton and Brea Carter. 

More: #EventCareers: 50% of brand experience professionals looking for new job

UK event co-ordinator salaries lag behind rest of world

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