Well, what a farce. There stands the BBC, caught on stage, with its trousers down, in the heat of one of its own spotlights.
We in the Third Sector can stand proud on the other side the Stage Door. Any vestiges of unequal pay appear to be long banished from our doors. Women are an able, highly valued and equitably remunerated majority amongst the leadership of our charities here in Solihull.
When our local sector’s elected strategic Reference Group gathered this week to meet with the Council’s Assistant Director for Stronger Communities, five of us were female and three male. Also, besides that, that Group has tackled many a thorny strategic matter in its time, but there never been a thought to any need for inequality of pay between the sexes to appear on the agenda. Our recruitment processes are rigorous and salaries set totally independent of gender.
Oh, but hold on a minute (drumroll, please, swing that spotlight) I thought I knew what was going on, but have just read a few pages on through the script and there is a twist in this tale, the smile is melting from my face.
Leaders in our sector lag their equivalents in the public and private sector, by a long distance in some cases. No matter where you look, to the Councils, the NHS, the financial sector, the manufacturing sector, the entertainment sector, the retail sector, a leader in our sector will be remunerated less favourably, in general, than those managing an operation with an equivalent annual turnover elsewhere.
So, when the bare truth is revealed in the final act, a preponderance of female leadership in our sector is actually contributing to a national gender pay gap when other, better paid sectors, are dominated by men.
(Boom, boom, roll credits)
It’s a good job we have a passion for what we do and salary is not the only driving force for working in Third Sector leadership roles!