Podcast: Scotland’s Gender Pay Gap

Are women valued less than men? Why does the pay gap exist?

We spoke to Lindsey Millen from the Close the Gap Campaign about these questions and more, you can listen below.

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How is the Pay Gap Calculated?

There’s no definitive way to report a single figure that fully captures the complexities of the gender pay gap, but there are two main ways we use which is the mean and the median. The government equalities office in Westminster uses the median, excluding overtime, to report on the pay gap but the Equality and Human Rights Commission uses the mean. The Office of National Statistics publish both so we use that annual survey of hours and earnings to calculate the pay gap for Scotland. To describe the difference between the mean and the median: The median is a measurement used to calculate the average by finding the mid point in all employees hourly pay and it discards the lowest and highest outliers, so half of all employees earnings below the mid point and above the mid point are kind of gone. From a statistical respective it’s more robust because its not skewed by very low hourly pay or very high hourly pay but because very high paid people tend to be men, very low paid people tend to be women it can obscure the gendered differences in the labour market. The mean average is you just add all of employees rates of pay together and you divide it by the total number of employees, so it includes the lowest and highest rates of pay, and therefore includes the gendered aspects.

The mean is, in my opinion, the more accurate version. – Lindsey Millen, Close the Gap

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