A collection of extracts on what’s being said about gender equality in our world.
Nike is publicly dismantling its toxic “boys club” culture
Marc Bain, Quartz at Work, April 5, 2018
What started as a quiet internal problem at Nike has developed into a very public pledge by the world’s largest athletic brand to change its corporate culture.
The situation began with a surreptitious survey being circulated among Nike’s female employees that shed light on widespread concerns over unequal pay, promotions, and a toxic “boys club” culture (paywall) at the company. After the survey came to the attention of CEO Mark Parker, Nike quickly investigated, leading to the resignations of two of the company’s top executives—one of which was Trevor Edwards, widely seen as the likely successor to current CEO Mark Parker.
Now the company’s chief of human resources, Monique Matheson, says there will be changes to come in Nike’s efforts to ensure women and minorities are represented in top jobs.
“Today, we shared updates on pay and for the first time representation data for women and people of color at the Vice President level,” Matheson said in a statement. “These results demonstrate that we need to accelerate representation of women and people of color at leadership levels within the company.”
Nike has several hundred vice presidents, according to a source who spoke with the Wall Street Journal (paywall). In an internal memo to staff reviewed by the Journal and CNBC, Matheson revealed that just 29% of the company’s vice presidents are women, despite its overall global workforce being a roughly even split between women and men. In the US, only 16% of vice presidents are non-white, even though in 2016 most of its US workforce was non-white for the first time.
“While we’ve spoken about this many times, and tried different ways to achieve change, we have failed to gain traction—and our hiring and promotion decisions are not changing senior-level representation as quickly as we have wanted,” Matheson reportedly said in the memo.
Pay was at least more equitable. Globally, women earned $0.99 for every $1 men earned, while in the US there was no difference in pay between white and non-white employees. Matheson, however, did tell staff that Nike will implement doing additional analysis of pay in certain parts of the company, since they’ve heard from employees that the numbers don’t reflect their “personal” experiences.
CNBC, meanwhile, reports that men in Nike’s UK wholesale and retail divisions earned 10% and 3% more than women, respectively. Nike said having fewer women in senior-level positions, which pay better, caused the disparity.
A gentleman’s profession? The women fighting for gender equality in publishing
Nearly 40 years ago, a campaign group was formed to push for equality in the publishing industry. This week, amidst news of enduring gender pay gaps, their interviews are made available online
Harriet Marsden, Independent, UK, April 6, 2018.
This week, along with other UK organizations, 19 companies from the publishing industry released their gender pay gap
But despite a female-dominated workforce (almost two-thirds), the mean industry pay gap report made for stark reading.
Penguin Random House (PRH): 16.4 per cent. Bloomsbury: 23.3 per cent. Leading trade publishing group Hachette UK: 29.7 per cent.
Trade magazine The Bookseller today published a response which rightly stressed the limitations of the data: when considering the median, rather than mean average pay gap, the numbers vary drastically. As deputy editor Benedicte Page writes, “Detail and nuance is in short supply.”
“But what is plain,” she continues, “is a broad industry pattern which consistently sees a concentration of men in the highest-paid quartile, and men given disproportionate share of the most senior, well-rewarded roles, and the bulk of the pay gaps firmly in their favour.”
How, in such a female-friendly industry, can this be the case? Almost 40 years ago, the activist group Women in Publishing (WiP) sought to answer that very question.
Founded in 1979, riding on the second wave of feminism, WiP challenged discrimination in the industry,
Men have always fought for gender equality
Well, some of them have. Here are some of MT’s favourite historical ‘suffragents’.
Stephen Jones, Management Today, March 28, 2018
Management Today recently celebrated its 2018 Agents of Change Power List, the men we felt had done the most to contribute to gender equality at work over the last year. That sometimes elicits a double take. The men who’ve pushed for gender equality?
But men have been fighting for women’s rights for centuries now. Or at least some of them have.
Today you’ve got chaps like EE’s chief executive Marc Allera, who’s contractually bound recruitment agencies to provide 50:50 candidate lists or Aviva’s Mark Wilson, who’s introduced a policy of equal parental leave and was the first FTSE 100 CEO to sign up to the 30% Club’s gender diversity commitment.
But peer back through the mists of time and you’ll find many a notable ‘suffragent’. Here are a few of MT’s favourites.
John Stuart Mill: ‘If ever there was an early Male Agent of Change, I think John Stuart Mill would have been an ideal candidate for our Power List’ says ad-land queen (and real life Dame) Cilla Snowball at the Agents of Change party at the BT Tower.
In 1869 his essay The Subjection of Women, Mill wrote ‘by denying women the same opportunities as men, society not only impedes the development of roughly half the population, but denies itself the benefit of their talents.’
He was elected as MP for the City and Westminster on a platform that pushed votes for women and in 1866 presented the first mass suffrage petition to the House of Commons.
Almost 80% of firms that have reported gender pay gap give average man more than average woman
Of firms that have published so far, 77 per cent have median gender pay gap in favour of men
Josie Cox, Independent, March 21, 2018
The vast majority of companies that have so far published their gender pay gap have admitted to paying the average man more than the average woman, government figures reveal.
Ahead of a 4 April deadline for all UK companies employing at least 250 people to publish their gender pay gaps, data from the Government Equalities Office shows that, of the 2,743 firms that have so far published, 77 per cent have a median gender pay gap in favour of men and 14.3 per cent have a gap in favour of women. The remainder claim to have no median gender pay gap at all.
A total of around 9,000 employees will have to publish their reports within the next two weeks to comply with new legislation.
“This Government is clear that tackling injustices like the gender pay gap is part of building a country that works for everyone. Shining a light on where women are being held back means employers can begin to take action,” a spokesperson for the Home Office said.
“Reporting gender pay gap data is not optional; it is the law, and employers that do not comply will risk facing legal action from the Equality and Human Rights Commission,” the spokesperson added.