Stuart Gentle Publisher at Onrec

Expert comment: Gender pay gap at lowest level yet

Tara O'Sullivan, CMO at Skillsoft:

"Ultimately, the fact that a gender pay gap still exists in 2018 is disappointing.  Progress is being made – but there’s still work to be done.  The gender pay gap needs to be addressed, and I believe it's going to have to be addressed in a legal manner.  Take Iceland for instance, which has passed a law making it the employer's responsibility to prove that employees are being paid equally.  That's what’s needed, because culturally – particularly in the UK and Ireland – we are notoriously bad at talking about our salaries.  Enshrining this in law would force us to deal with the consequences of equal pay.  I expect in the future we will see some high-profile cases of people suing for back pay as a result of being underpaid.

On the other side, women need to improve negotiation of their salaries.  Often, when men are offered a job there will be a back and forth on pay, holiday and other benefits.  Women tend to simply accept offers, because of absurd notions about being too pushy and outspoken.  Employers will value a demonstration of your negotiation skills; in many job roles – from sales to marketing and engineering –negotiation is very important.  It’s not about being more like a man, but showing your worth as a woman."