The Woman Pushing to Reveal the Gender Wage Gap in the UK Thinks the Shit Is About to Hit the Fan

The UK’s 2010 Equality Act has a clause stating that any
company with more than 250 employees must publicly share their
gender pay gap, and it comes into effect in April. The Labour
party’s Harriet Harman is extremely psyched for it.

The Guardian
Harman and her work in pushing through legislation
that will reveal pay disparities across the country. The
fallout of pay transparency in the UK notably
began at the BBC
with journalist Carrie Gracie’s
after she discovered she was paid 33 percent
less than male editors and had recently been offered an unequal
raise. Harman says many have been quick to castigate the BBC,
but their faces are gonna be red when the rest of the numbers
come out:

“There’s going to be an avalanche in April. It’s going to be
unbelievable. Because everybody’s going to go: ‘Bugger this’,
just like Carrie. This is a really huge, structural
earthquake – and now it’s all happening.” She pauses and
allows herself a gleeful grin. “Usually, policies all fall
apart after a while, and you think,” she winces, “‘Oh God.’
But this one is a cracker, there’s no doubt about it.”

Before Harman’s intervention, the Equality Act was only going
to require companies to perform internal pay audits. She
believed that anyone hired by management would tell management
what they wanted to hear—that there was no problem. So, she
says she went “completely bonkers” and demanded pay

“Because if people can see what’s happening in their workplace,
that is going to empower people to say we’ve got to change,”
Harman told the Guardian.

Harman is even looking forward to revelations about pay
disparity within her own party, and says when info on the
political pay gap are revealed it’s going to be “a corker.” Her
general enthusiasm for the future comeuppance of her country’s
job creators is delightful:

“The argument that it’s unfair has blossomed on the basis
that people didn’t think they were going to have to do
anything about it. People adopted the rhetoric because they
felt they had impunity – because it was all undercover, if
you like. Therefore, we’ve got the rhetoric very nicely
developed. And now suddenly the facts are marching up to the
rhetoric and tapping it on the shoulder. And it’s going to
be: bang! Now it’s the day of reckoning.”

However, she has a realistic view of how difficult it will be
to make changes based on this information. Harman says there’s
no “magic wand” that will close the pay gap in any industry;
she does have plans for pushing people to close the gap with
target dates and staff turnover. It seems like a big fight is
ahead, and she is very here for it. Ingest more of Harman’s
go-get-it attitude

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