Library and Information Professionals – bucking the gender pay gap trend?
Today, 10th November is being hailed as ‘Equal Pay Day’. The date which in 2017 is when a woman on an average wage stops being paid relative to their male counterparts. Well, if you work in an Information role, you can expect that date to be closer to the middle of December. This is still unequal and there is still work to do, but there is a lot closer to parity than many industries – which we feel deserves recognition.
In October, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) published their 2016 stats on the gender pay gap – 18.1% overall. In stark contrast, the library and information professions show a markedly lower gap of only 6.2% between men and women’s overall earnings. Admittedly, in what has been a traditionally female-dominated profession, we would expect to see less divergence in pay rates, but we are still delighted to see that women are being recognised on a much more equal footing for doing the same work as men.
The ONS statistics are comparable with our own data (TFPL and Sue Hill), collected from our verified placement data and supported by our Annual Salary Survey. These show only a 7 % pay gap overall, across the knowledge and information management profession and in line with the ONS data.
Looking more closely at the sectors we primarily work with threw up some more interesting detail and wider variants in pay across the sectors with whom we work. Not only are women closing the pay gap, but in certain sectors, women are actually outperforming men in terms of salaries. In management consultancies women are earning 6% more than men, with accountancy firms not far behind with a 3% positive pay gap for women.
We need to be careful when quoting statistics, particularly when making comparisons, and, in the case of pay gaps based on gender, other factors do need to be taken into consideration. But overall, we think this is very good news for the Information profession, and something we really should all be proud of.