The gender pay gap is designed into our culture; here’s how we can design it out

The following limitations should be considered when reading this article:

  • Wages in the private sector are often made up of base pay and performance-related pay, both of which contribute to the gender pay gap. Due to time limitations, this article focuses solely on base pay.
  • Gender is one of multiple personal characteristics that can affect base pay including class, ethnicity, nationality and disability. Though they all deserve research, this study focuses solely on gender due to a lack of UK-relevant literature on the other characteristics as well as time restrictions.
  • The universal job evaluation workshops featured in this article were limited in scope by time and financial resources. The full process would involve a richer and more detailed analysis of the job roles being assessed. Further sessions to engage more people would also be run to ensure reliability of the results.
  • This study is built on the assumption that universal job evaluation can be used as a tool to tackle the gender pay gap. However, it should be noted that as the gender pay gap has multiple causes, job evaluation can only be one part of the solution. A holistic strategy would include other interventions such as family-friendly work policies and reforms to the education system.

This article was adapted from a master’s thesis submitted to the UCL Institute for Global Prosperity. The original thesis was awarded the MSc Global Prosperity Dissertation Prize.

I would like to thank my sister, Amanda Waters, for her editorial wisdom, my workshop assistants Ismat and Daniel and all of the participants who took part in the workshops.

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