woman holding sign up that says "Close the pay gap!" surrounded by female mannequins

UK companies with 250+ employees are now legally required to publish their gender pay gap data. And some already have… Goldman Sachs, for example, pay bonuses to female staff that are, on average, three-fifths of what their male counterparts earn.

Shocking, right?

The hope is that, by being forced to reveal their figures, companies will be more likely to introduce greater equality for women in business.

Those who know me, Esther Stanhope, though, will know that I’d never advise a female employee to sit and wait for change to happen.

The pay gap data that firms have published to date shows that the majority of top-paid positions are filled by men, but with this new legislation in place, there’s never been a better time for women to push for a promotion or pay rise.

The worst that can happen? Your manager will say no. The important thing is to approach the conversation with confidence. Research what similar roles pay at other employers – and even internally, if you can. Decide on what you really want – whether it’s a more senior role, a higher salary or better benefits – and draw up a case: explain to your manager why these requests are justified. Ensure that your timing is right too: many firms process pay rises at specific points during the year, and you don’t want to miss the boat.

If you’re a valued employee who brings a lot to the company, the last thing your boss will want is to lose you to a competitor. Stand strong, demonstrate your worth, and be confident: with businesses looking to improve their pay gap figures, there’s never been better time to ask.

Esther Stanhope

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