Equal pay often gets lost in jargon and statistics. They can make your eyes glaze over, even if you care about the issue. All the concept really means is that people in the same workplace should receive the same compensation for doing the same work.
On July 22nd, a group calling themselves BBC Women, planned to send a letter to Tony Hall, the BBC’s director general. The group noted, “this is an opportunity for those of us with strong and loud voices to use them on behalf of all, and for an organisation that had to be pushed into transparency to do the right thing.” According to BBC Women, more than a thousand women had asked the corporation to look at their pay. (The BBC said that the number was significantly lower.) Some were in the early stage of discussions; some were taking settlements and moving on; others were holding out to see if anyone would achieve what one of the founding members of BBC Women described to me as “the holy grail”—pay parity, full pension restitution, and up to six years’ back pay. “They’re still plucking numbers out of thin air,” the woman said. “There’s little sign that they’re systematically putting women’s pay right in accordance with the law.”
In a 2016 survey conducted by the A.F.L.-C.I.O., women named equal pay as the single most important workplace issue. With women making up forty-seven per cent of the American workforce, the retention of female talent is a significant competitive advantage. “Equal pay is a win for the company, its employees, and its investors,” stated Natasha Lamb, a managing partner at the sustainable-investment firm Arjuna Capital. In a report, Lamb wrote that “a host of research illustrates the business case for Equal Pay,” citing evidence that it led to better risk management, higher profit margins and stock prices, and more innovation.
Read Carrie Gracie and the BBC women’s full story here.