The Gender Pay Gap – it’s everyone’s business and everyone’s responsibility

“I’m only human after all, I’m only human after all, don’t put the blame on me” a familiar song on the airwaves. Or alternatively consider Delta Airline’s response to so-called price gouging on airline tickets shooting up in the face of the latest Hurricane to hit Florida “It was the Computer’s fault”…..

We are still hearing about the fall-out from the BBC’s gender pay gap reporting on presenters’ salaries but just this week we have seen a new direction being taken by women working at the BBC demanding action. They want someone to take responsibility and do something about it.

Companies across the UK with 250 employees or more must publish their pay gap by next April yet 6 months in just over 60 companies have reported out of a potential 9,000.

What’s the delay?

Based on our conversations with companies we are certainly seeing a bit of a ‘let’s wait and see what others do’ approach.

For companies that have done the analysis there are several areas they are probably considering:

  • Where do their gender pay gap figures sit within their industry?
  • Are they performing better or worse than competitors?
  • How will they explain the gender pay gap to staff?
  • Will this affect their brand reputation?
  • Will this affect their ability to attract and retain talent?

And hopefully, most importantly, they are thinking how do they close the gender pay gap?

For any companies currently in this scenario we would certainly be advising them to take responsibility and action.

Before publishing gender pay gap figures companies should think about:

  • What are they doing right now to promote diversity and inclusion?
  • How aware are their staff on our diversity and inclusion efforts? Are policies just there to tick a box or do they really impact staff at all levels
  • Have they been making progress in promoting women?
  • If they have equal levels of men and women in lower levels of the business have they researched why more women are not being promoted to senior leadership?

By considering all of the above companies can take a serious look at their approach and be open and honest in their gender pay gap reporting.

The Gender Pay Gap will only be closed by companies taking action and it will be individuals within these companies who take responsibility that will drive forward change.

We can’t blame our human nature or computers for the gender pay gap. We need to accept that it exists, that it’s not acceptable, and that collectively we are all going to do our part to close it.

If your organisation is looking at its gender pay gap and needs support, please get in touch. We’d be happy to talk to you.

Jane Gotts


GenAnalytics Ltd


A Little Less Conversation, A Little More Action Please

Talk is cheap.

Actions speak louder than words.

All familiar phrases that we hear regularly.

It seems lately that there’s still a lot of talk about diversity and equality in the workplace. We are still faced with reading articles about individuals working for global brands where there are searing misconceptions about men’s work and women’s work but no actions or plans in place to change mind-sets and behaviours. Too much chat and not enough positive action.

Just this week we have had more evidence and insights into the reality of pay gaps across the UK. Research by the EHRC has highlighted that:

Women in Scotland are paid 16% less than men

Ethnic Minorities are paid 5.7% less than white people

Disabled people are paid 13.6% less than non-disabled people.

Data doesn’t lie and this reality tells us that we still have a long journey ahead of us to achieve equality in the workplace for all.

Transparency and legislation is helpful in bringing these issues to the boardroom tables and to senior management forums. However, since Gender Pay Gap legislation was introduced in April we have had 48 employers publishing their data. That’s 48 employers currently out of around 9,000 who will be required to publish their details before April 2018.

What’s often missing from conversations is the absolute economic and business benefit that can be gained by greater diversity and inclusion.

McKinsey research states that ethnically diverse companies are 35% more likely to outperform companies that are not. McKinsey also state that if women could achieve parity with men we would see an additional $12 trillion added to global growth.

In the UK, gender equality would boost female earning by £85bn – though at the current rate of change we’d need to wait another 24 years to realise this benefit!

At GenAnalytics we are working with organisations to help them understand the business benefits of diversity, how they can foster an inclusive work culture, and how they can attract and retain talent.

With many industries citing skills shortages as their number one business continuity concern talent needs to be found beyond traditional recruitment practices. For example, in ICT, only 17% of the workforce in Scotland is currently female.

So we are working to change the record from conversation to action. Bold steps, transparency, leadership, ownership, and acknowledgment of challenges is needed from all our companies.

Our future economic growth and business success depends on it. As do the individuals in our society who should be free to achieve their full potential regardless of background, sexuality, race, gender, or disability.

Jane Gotts




The Importance of Engaging Men on Gender Equality – GenAnalytics Research Findings

Evidence continues to prove that diversity in the workplace is good for bottom line business performance, talent attraction and talent retention.

However, despite the evidence, the pace of change to achieving equality is stubbornly slow. Across the UK the pay gap remains 18% yet in some sectors this is as high as 40%. Women continue to dominate sectors where work is low paid and low skilled. Women are underrepresented in growing sectors including ICT. And, in sectors where women have better representation there are not enough women in senior leadership positions.

Achieving gender equality will need focus and efforts by government, the private and public sector and individuals – there is no quick and easy solution.

Men have a major role to play in ensuring women have the opportunity to achieve their ambitions and potential in the workplace. 99% of companies employing 250 people or more in Scotland are run by men. No Scottish companies who are listed in the FTSE 100 are run by women.

Yet men are often overlooked in terms of their importance to achieving equality and their views are not sought or known.

At GenAnalytics we have recognised the importance of men on this key economic issue and the valuable role they can play in identifying the challenges and solutions to solving this.

That is why we have undertaken the first male attitudes survey on gender equality in Scotland through a range of quantitative and qualitative analysis and the results are insightful.

 Workplace Equality


73% of our respondents believed that we had not achieved gender equality in the workplace in Scotland.

When we asked men to consider if gender equality had been achieved in their industry sector 64% did not consider that it had.


However, despite a perceived lack of progress at industry and national level 79% believed that both women and men were treated equally within their workplace.

Our research and analysis aimed to gain more detailed insights into individual views and when we asked what the barriers were to achieving equality the following quotes represented some of the views received:

“Male Bias at boardroom level”

“Unconscious and conscious bias in Senior Management”

“Ignoring the problem”

“The Old Boys Network”

“People hire people like themselves so status quo is hard to shift”

“Perception that women lose interest after giving birth”

“Structural sexism in wider society and economy is reproduced in the workplace”

Importance of Equality to Future Business Success

Despite a lack of progress and barriers to achieving equality an overwhelming majority of our respondents recognised that this was vital to the future success of their industry.


So we can safely assume from our research so far that there has been a lack of progress yet there is recognition that gender equality is important to a business’s future success.

Gender Pay Gap Reporting

As we mentioned at the start of this analysis, the pace of change is still slow and Governments in Scotland and the UK are recognising the power of legislation to drive through change at a faster rate.

This year, all companies employing 250 staff are more will be required to publish gender pay gap information. This will deliver a step change in focusing companies to consider their pay gap and the reasons for it.

Just under a majority of respondents welcomed this legislation believing that additional transparency will reduce inequality. However, we can see from our results that with just under 35% unaware of the legislation there is still work to be done to raise the profile of this new law.


Views on Gender Quotas

We explored the views of me on legislation to support greater gender equality by asking if they supported quotas for women on public and private boards.


Just over half of men surveyed did not support the introduction of quotas on public boards.

In addition, a higher majority – 53% – did not support quotas on private boards.


These results are insightful given the focus at a Scottish Government level to achieve a 50:50 gender balance on all public boards by 2020 and an aspiration to increase women on FTSE Boards over the next few years

Caring Responsibilities

Our survey also sought to understand male views to caring responsibilities and family friendly policies within their place of employment.


70% of respondents work for an organisation that promotes shared parental leave and encouragingly 55% of men surveyed stated that they would consider using shared parental leave for their own family circumstances.


Family Friendly Policies

An overwhelming majority of men believed that more family friendly policies will improve gender equality. However, with current low levels of uptake by men on shared parental leave we know there is work still to be done.



To shift the needle and begin to make real progress in achieving gender equality in the workplace we must engage men at all levels and understand their views.

Men across Scotland recognise the importance of diversity for the ongoing success of the industry that they work in and in their own organisations.

However, they are less likely to support legislation and quotas to achieve change. Given the direction of travel in Scotland and the UK to develop and implement legislation to focus the spot light on gender equality and drive change we need to ensure that we continue to talk about the benefits of diversity.

As we have seen regularly in the last few weeks there are still so many misconceptions about women’s work versus men’s work.

There is also an aspiration for men to use shared parental leave for their own family circumstances yet we know what take up of these policies by men remains stubbornly low.

Achieving gender equality in the workplace is not just the right thing to do. It is imperative for economic growth and the future success of our companies and industries.

There is still a long journey ahead of us but at GenAnalytics we are engaging, talking and working with organisations who want to achieve a diverse balance in their workplace – because they recognise it is the smart thing to do.



August 2017

(This survey was conducted by GenAnalytics in Spring 2017. Respondents were drawn from the public and private sectors and were at all different stages in their careers)


Mainstreaming Diversity – the journey has begun

Last week GenAnalytics and The Herald brought together nearly 200 individuals from the public, private and third sector for the first Diversity Conference in Scotland.

Following the success of the inaugural Diversity Awards in October last year we wanted to continue to share stories of organisations really making a difference in embedding diversity throughout their workforce. And we knew that we still have to continue to reach out to as many businesses as possible to sell the business case for Diversity – to mainstream this as an economic issue.

Last week we heard about the business benefit to Scotland if we could close the gender pay gap – stubbornly sitting at 16%.

We heard about women in North Ayrshire who earn £180 a week less than men – and the recognition from that local authority that women are central to achieving inclusive economic growth. We also learned about the inescapable link between child poverty and women not in work or in low paid jobs.

Listening to our speakers talk about Diversity as good for the business, good for attracting and retaining talent, good for culture and moral amongst teams, we also heard about the challenges that remain – the uncomfortable conversations we still need to have on race and ethnic minorities participation in the workforce. We were reminded as well on the importance of an inclusive work culture so that everyone, regardless of their background, race or sexuality felt comfortable in their place of work to enable them to be able to do their jobs.

We are making progress – certainly the collective opinions on the day from our delegates and speakers recognised that – however the overwhelming conclusion was that we are only just at the beginning of truly mainstreaming diversity.

This is our focus at GenAnalytics.

We are working with organisations unlock the business and economic potential that a diverse workforce will deliver. There is still a lack of data and evidence on gender equality across all of Scotland’s main industries, on the participation of ethnic minorities, on the potential that we could harness from more people with a disability securing jobs.

We will continue to use data to mainstream Diversity.

This is what GenAnalytics set out to do just over 18 months ago. We are also on a journey but in this short period of time we have worked with some fantastic partners who share our mission and ambition. We look forward to continuing our work with them and identifying new companies and organisations to work with until we can truly say that we have unlocked the economic potential of everyone in our economy.


What’s United Got To Do With UK Pay Gap Legislation?

This week, United Airlines clearly demonstrated the bottom line cost to a business of negative consumer power and how quickly social media can damage corporate reputation. Whilst there was no immediate impact on United’s market valuation, in fact its shares rose immediately after the event, United have still to learn the longer term financial impact, the cost of rebuilding their brand and customer trust and of repairing their corporate reputation.

Whilst the share price rise may seem counter-intuitive, analysis by Steel City Re, a US based company which analyses reputational strength and resilience of public companies, shows that markets can often be slow in responding to corporate reputational damage. Speaking in Benzinga, an online publication, Steel City Re estimate that it can take the markets twenty weeks to recognise the severity of reputation events but then the company’s share price can be expected to fall by 25%. This is due to a progressive response to the incident by many customers and stakeholders who move from a position of tolerance to one of disappointment and dissatisfaction with the brand or organisation.

In April 2017, mandatory gender pay gap reporting became law in the UK for approximately 8,000 companies employing more than 250 people. Whilst the connection to the United experience may not seem immediately obvious, given that the UK gender pay gap is on average 18%, rising to over 40% in some sectors the requirement to publish company specific gender pay gap data will be giving cause for concern in many boardrooms and executive suites across the country particularly for some big brand and household names. A study by pay and reward consultants Mercer, suggested that 61% of organisations were worried about the impact of pay gap reporting on their reputation not just in terms of its potential impact on staff and shareholders, but also on how this data will be interpreted by the media, politicians and its customers.

Leading gender analysts Catalyst.Org, estimates that, on average, 67% of all UK Household consumption is controlled or influenced by women. And it much greater in many key household areas. As I highlighted in my last blog on female consumer purchasing power, women make the decision or influence the purchase of 92% of holidays, 65% of cars, 93% of food, 91% of homes and 61% of personal computers. And with the extensive and growing use of social networks such as Facebook and sharing of social reviews by women, social media is now playing an increasingly important role in the decision-making process of many women and in influencing their purchasing decisions.

Some companies have decided to make their gender pay gap information public well in advance of next year. Deloitte, PWC and EY have led the way in publishing their pay gap information and Virgin Money, a bank and financial services group owned by the Virgin Group and employing over 3,000 people published its gender pay gap earlier this year. Virgin Money’s mean gender pay gap was 36%, compared to a financial services sector average of 39.5%, both well above the UK average.

The company who actively promote “recognising everyone as equal” admits that the pay gap is largest at senior management levels, which have a 21% female to 79% male ratio. The rest of the organisation has a 44:56 male to female split. Headed up by a female CEO, Virgin Money publicly recognises that it has work to do to address this gap and is aiming for a 50/50 gender balance by 2020 which they believe will help resolve their current pay gap.

So far, the Twittersphere has been relatively silent on these organisations and public and consumer reaction to the earnings differentials appears relatively muted. However, as we head into 2018 and many major consumer and household names publish their gender pay gap information, it may prove difficult to predict customer reaction and for many brands, like United, it may be enough to prove the tipping point between consumer tolerance and disappointment.

Dr Lesley Sawers

GenAnalytics Ltd


The “Why” of Diversity and Inclusion

The “Why” of Diversity and Inclusion

Simon Sinek famously inspired many businesses and individuals to understand their purpose – to start with “Why”. His best seller is based on the fact that all of us, be it in a business or as individuals, have a purpose and you need to understand your own, before you focus on the what you do and how you do it.

At GenAnalytics we have a very clear understanding of our “Why” –  we want to work with organisations and companies across Scotland to create more inclusive and diverse workplaces. We believe this “Why” will enable more people to realise their full potential, have equal access to opportunities and at the same time help deliver stronger economic performance for the organisation and support inclusive growth for the economy. It’s a hugely ambitious “Why”, but our “Why” doesn’t stop with our own business objectives.

We believe the “Why” of diversity and inclusion is hugely important for everyone, as is the “What” we’re doing and “How” we’re dealing with the issues and opportunities diversity and inclusion creates in our workplaces and businesses across Scotland.

To focus on this big national question, on the 23 May Scotland will host its first ever National Diversity Conference, delivered by GenAnalytics and Herald Scotland Events. We are delighted to be supported by our partners: Standard Life plc, MacRoberts, Skills Development Scotland, City of Glasgow College, YSC, Wheatley Group, Royal Mail, Taylor Wimpey, ScottishPower, and Scottish Canals.

Here are some of the “Why’s” we will be focusing on:

Why do women earn £183 per week less than a man?

Why is the unemployment rate higher for workers from ethnic minority groups than for white workers?

Why are disabled people twice as likely to be unemployed than non-disabled people?

Why are only 17% of jobs in ICT in Scotland held by women?

Why aren’t more companies doing more to support diversity and inclusion in our workplaces?

Why aren’t we better at sharing best practice and what-works knowledge?

To learn and share in the Why”, “Where”, “What” and Who” of Diversity and Inclusion in Scotland, then join our conference conversation and let’s collectively start with “Why”?



Diversity Delivers Results – be a part of the success

Diversity Delivers Results. There is overwhelming evidence that companies who embrace diversity are more profitable than those who do not.

Diverse organisations can attract and retain top talent.

Diversity not only delivers results for businesses – it makes economic sense.

McKinsey have estimated a boost of $12 trillion to the global economy if we could reduce the gender gap in workplaces across the world.

In Scotland, recent research by PwC has indicated that our economy could receive a welcome boost of up to £6.5 billion if we were able to close our gender pay gap.

Across businesses, organisations, the public sector, and the third sector we know there are outstanding examples of workplaces who embrace diversity and recognise talent – despite backgrounds, gender, race or disability.

However, we know that we need to do more to mainstream diversity into a must-do rather than a nice-to-do.

Across our economy women are more likely to be in low paid, low skilled and part time work compared to men. Men are currently more likely than women to work in senior positions and men dominate the higher paid sectors such as engineering, finance and banking.

Only about half of people of working age with a disability are in employment compared to 80% of able bodied people. The employment rate for people with learning disabilities is 26%.

Employment is significantly higher for white ethnic groups in Scotland than those from ethnic minorities.

One in five lesbian, gay and bisexual employees have experienced discrimination in their workplace because of their sexual orientation within the last five years.

We have made progress to improve diversity in Scotland’s economy but the statistics above show that we have a long way to go.

That’s why we are organising Scotland’s first Diversity Conference with The Herald. We will highlight best practice, hear from expert speakers, and share knowledge from all sectors of the economy on how we can work together to achieve the changes we know that we need to ensure everyone in our economy can achieve their potential.

We want you to join us and share your views and contribute to the events success. For further information and to book your place please visit – http://newsquestscotlandevents.com/events/the-diversity-conference/

Diversity delivers results. Join us to play your part in delivering diversity and success for our economy.

Jane Gotts



mind the gap

Gender Pay Gap v Equal Pay – The Difference and Why

With the forthcoming Economy, Jobs and Fair Work Committee’s current inquiry into the Gender Pay Gap in Scotland I thought it would be helpful to outline the distinctions between equal pay and the gender pay gap. Many think we don’t have a pay gap in our economy due to equal pay legislation.

Equal Pay and the Gender Pay Gap are two completely separate issues.

Equal Pay is covered by the Equality Act of 2010 which means that men and women in the same employment performing equal work must receive equal pay.

The Gender Pay Gap is the difference between men and women’s average earnings in a business or across the labour market. The Pay Gap is expressed as a percentage of men’s earnings.

The Gender Pay Gap exists for a whole host of reasons.

Women are still more likely to work in part-time and low paid roles compared to men. In Scotland, women account for 76% of all part-time workers.

The average gender pay gap across the UK is 18% however in some sectors it is much higher including financial services where it is estimated to be as high as 39%. Simplistically we can say that is because in this sector there is likely to be more men in higher paid roles than women.

The Gender Pay Gap isn’t unique to Scotland or the UK. Global estimates suggest that it could take another 140 years for the gap to close at a global level.

So in Scotland – how do we tackle the gap that remains? This is complex and there is no one correct answer but taking a detailed and evidenced based approach to understanding the facts is a start.

If we know what the gap is key industry sectors in Scotland we can start to look at how we use the tools available to us to close it. These include encouraging more girls into Science and Technology at a younger age and maintaining this interest beyond school to lead to career opportunities. For women in employment, how do we support more women to move from part-time to full-time work? How do we look at developing more women in work into senior leadership roles? How do we reward success in our companies? Are promotions solely based on presenteeism, finding someone in the boss’s own image or through closed networks?

This is a massive challenge but also a huge opportunity for Scotland’s economy. More women working and earning means more economic growth – inclusive economic growth.

We all have a part to play and the Economy, Jobs and Fair Work Committee’s inquiry is an important step in the journey.


Women Consumer Power

Candace Bushnell, the “Sex and the City” author, famously once said “Women with money and women in power are two uncomfortable ideas in our society”. But the fact is that the economic power of women as earners, consumers, purchasers and influencers has been growing steadily for decades.

Whilst the media is dominated by issues linked to pay gaps, board membership, career progression and the many obstacles faced
by women, and it is right that we focus on the inequalities and social injustice that still exist for many women today, what is often forgotten is the scale and the extent of the economic power and influence that women have.

Women currently control $20 trillion or 27% of the world’s wealth. In the UK 46% of the 376,000 millionaires are female and 18 women are now in the exclusive billionaires’ club (2016). And this figure is expected to grow as more women enter these power indexes, no longer claiming their position due to family inheritance or divorce settlements.

More women are graduating with degrees, and more women are entering the workforce. Not only are women earning more as they scale professorial and corporate ladders, but they are also setting up businesses at a faster rate than men. One third of businesses in the world are owned by women. In Scotland, over 80,000 businesses are owned by women contributing over £5 billion to the Scottish economy each year, that’s a lot of female buying and influencing power.

Women now represent the largest market opportunity in the world and female consumer purchasing power exceeds the GDP of India and China combined (Forbes 2013). Women are fast becoming “prominent creators of wealth” and it is expected women will control 75% of all household spending by 2028.

The influence of women on the consumer economy is huge, leading many commentators to suggest that if consumer spending had a gender it would be female. Leading gender analysts Catalyst.Org, estimates that, on average, 67% of all UK Household consumption is controlled or influenced by women. And it is much greater in many key household areas.

Women make the decision or influence the purchase of 92% of holidays, 65% of cars, 93% of food, 91% of homes and 61% of PCs and with the extensive and growing use of social networks such as Facebook and sharing of social reviews by women, social media is now playing an increasingly important role in the decision-making process of many women.

In response to this “gender flip” or changing economic dynamic, most consumer businesses and advertising specialists have become much smarter in terms of how they “sell” to women.

Yet this consumer industry experience is not reflected in the response by many other companies to increasing female economic power. However, many organisations do understand that learning from the consumer industry could be vital for them as they look to sell to the growing number of senior female business decision makers, create greater gender diversity in their organisation or recruit and retain more women in their workforce.

Deloitte, a global accounting and consultancy practice, has recognised that the first step to achieving greater diversity within their business is to focus on their clients or customers who are increasingly female decision makers – where a “one size fits all” marketing or sales approach no longer works.

They have effectively transformed their internal HR diversity training into a key business tool, successfully winning more contracts and pitches and at the same time raising levels of awareness of the benefits of gender diversity within their own organisation.

Similarly, many recruitment companies are understanding the impact of language and job advertisements on success rates. #WordsthatWork, an Australian Government initiative has recognised, as in consumer messaging, business words are powerful.

When it comes to recruitment, words can encourage or discourage women from applying for jobs, they can help reduce unconscious bias and provide a broader candidate field. Research suggests that women are less likely to apply for male sounding roles, described as “assertive” or “determined” and similarly for software companies, substituting the word “developer” for “hacker” increases the number of female applicants.

With 71% of social media users’ women and 78% of women using the internet for product information, social marketing is also becoming an increasingly important tool and channel to influence decisions and to engage women on a range of business and work related issues. Studies show that messages on users’ Facebook feeds can significantly influence voter patterns and social media played a key role in influencing decisions in the recent US Presidential elections.

The convergence of the consumer and business world is driving change in our homes, workplaces, communities and society.

More women with more money and more power is something we all need to get used to, uncomfortable or not.

Dr Lesley Sawers

Executive Chair

GenAnalytics Ltd

This article first appeared in Business Women Scotland Magazine February 2017


The ‘Unfinished Business’ of Caring

In recent months, we have seen a renewed focus on the issue of pregnancy and maternity in the workplace and the growing acceptance of the business case for supporting pregnancy and maternity rights at work. Despite this progress, a review by the Equality and Human Rights Commission into pregnancy and maternity in Britain, revealed that high levels of discrimination still exist in both the private and public sector. This report identified that not only can pregnancy and maternity impact the earnings of many women it can also potentially damage their future career progression.

The TUC estimate that around 25% of women do not return to work after maternity leave, and one in six of mums who do go back change jobs because their employer will not allow them to work reduced or flexible hours. And when women do return to work, the Institute for Fiscal Studies estimates that, on average, for a woman a pay gap of 10% exists even before the arrival of a first child. There is then a gradual increase in this gap, until the first child is twelve years old, when it is likely a women’s hourly wage will be a third below a man’s.

Whilst it is important to focus on areas of discrimination that still exist linked to pregnancy and maternity rights and to ensure that we collectively work to reduce inequality in the workplace and within roles, this work also highlights a wider issue operating in our society that we need to address. And that is in terms of how we treat and view not just expectant mothers but others who undertake caring roles in our society.

The majority of paid and unpaid childcare is undertaken by women, and is viewed and valued as low status work. Historically, occupations that are undertaken mainly by women or have been “feminised” are characterised by low pay and are perceived as having low economic value in comparison to work undertaken predominately by men. Anne Marie Slaughter, Hilary Clinton’s former policy chief, in her book “Unfinished Business” argues that to drive change across society we need to stop viewing caring as a “women’s issue”. She talks about building an infrastructure of care, around the notion that “If family comes first, work does not come second. Life comes together”, where caregiving rather than seen as a business cost, is viewed as an asset by businesses and organisations allowing many women to be their most productive in the workplace.

To achieve this, we need to broaden the national conversation to consider changing current childcare attitudes, the level of financial support for shared parental leave and the role that men can and should play in care provision. In Norway over 70% of fathers currently take more than 5 weeks’ paternity leave, whilst in the UK we still have a stigma that prevents many fathers or partners from playing a more active role in early parenting and which has led to a woeful uptake by men of shared parental leave.

We also need to consider the support and encouragement we give to home based work, allowing more parents to set up businesses, work from home, or to study or learn new skills whilst undertaking childcare. And we also need to address the growing “hidden” caring burden, increasingly being carried by many women in support of elderly relatives or parents, and ensure that we are not creating a new “covering” syndrome, linked to ageing.

The introduction of pay gap reporting in 2017, will shine a spotlight on earnings inequity across sectors and within organisations. However, we won’t get near to closing the gender pay gap until we also take action to address the low economic value we attach to caring roles, recognise the contribution of caregiving to the formal and informal economy and invest in it accordingly. Anne Marie Slaughter sets out a vision for the caring economy in the United States, but her focus on the “unfinished” business of how we value and integrate caregiving into our workplaces and society is universal.

Dr Lesley Sawers