Gender Pay Gap

MQT on 2016-09-14
Session date: 
September 14, 2016
Question By: 
Fiona Twycross
Labour Group
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


A recent report by the Institute for Fiscal Studies has shown that the gender pay gap, whilst narrowing over the past two decades, increases once a woman has had a child. Can you outline your plans to address the inequality that women face in relation to pay and progression in the workplace during your mayoralty?

Supplementary Questions: 


Answer for Gender Pay Gap

Answer for Gender Pay Gap

Answered By: 
The Mayor

Sadiq Khan (Mayor of London): Can I thank the Assembly Member for an important question on the gender pay gap. Pay and career prospects should not be defined by gender. Closing the gender pay gap and helping to remove the barriers to women’s success in the workplace are key priorities for my mayoralty. I want to see employers across London close the pay gap for women and support women in gaining equal pay and equal access to senior positions.


There are two strands to this. I want to lead by example by making the GLA a model employer by removing barriers to women by adopting the highest possible standards for fair pay, good working conditions and gender equality. I have already published the GLA’s gender pay gap and made it a requirement for all of the GLA family to publish or republish data on the gender pay gap in the coming months, as well as produce action plans to address any gaps.


I am also challenging the under-representation of women in senior roles through my personal appointments. I am proud that 57% of the new TfL Board is women and we have increased black and minority ethnic (BAME) and disability representation. Alongside this, I want to use my influence to encourage London’s businesses and employers to do the same. I am putting together my economic fairness team and expect my goals in this area to form a key part of its work.


I am working with the statutory Deputy Mayor, Joanne McCartney, to make childcare in London more affordable and accessible. We know that the availability and cost of childcare is a major challenge for working parents in London and that it has a particular impact on mothers. High-quality early years provision is also critical for improving the life chances of the most disadvantaged children. Increasing maternal employment rates also helps reduce poverty in low-income households and bring much-needed skills back into the economy. Joanne will be chairing a new cross-departmental working group at the GLA to ensure we can bring all of our influence and leverage to bear, working closely with the boroughs and other external stakeholders to improve early years education and childcare in London.


Fiona Twycross AM: Thank you. I welcome, as I think other Assembly Members do, the fact that you have published a gender pay audit for City Hall in the first few months in office. How will you encourage other businesses and organisations in London to follow suit and then follow your lead to take further action to tackle pay inequality?


Sadiq Khan (Mayor of London): We have to be realistic that a lot of this will be done by persuasion. There is an economic case to utilise the talent of all Londoners and to fulfil the potential of all Londoners. Look, the GLA is better than other employers in London and London is better than other cities and regions in our country, but the GLA’s pay gap is 4.3%, London’s is 11.9% on average and the country’s is 18%. It cannot be right that a child born in 2016 has less chance of fulfilling her potential because she is born a girl rather than a boy. We need to talk about that. If you look at the most successful businesses, they utilise the talents of everyone - women, disabled people, minority communities - and we have to make sure that we spread that best practice.


Fiona Twycross AM: Thank you. Equal Pay Day, the day on which women effectively stop earning in comparison to men, is 10 November this year, which is just one day later than last year. Will you promote action taking place across London to raise awareness of this day, along with your commitment to tackle equal pay?


Sadiq Khan (Mayor of London): It is really important. It is just worth reminding people what that means. That means, basically, from that day onwards, women are working for free if you look at the gender pay gap. That is why that day is important. It has gone back a day, which is some progress but not nearly good enough and so we have to make sure we highlight that because it will take all of us, men and women working together, to solve this issue. It is not just a women’s problem.


Fiona Twycross AM: Thank you.