UK women are on average paid 20.2% less in the energy sector as reported by government analysis, amid concerns of a green energy skills gap of up to 200,000.
The data collected by the government and analysed by Pinsent Mason highlighted, within electricity and gas suppliers, women are paid on average 16% less per hour than their male counterparts. Data from oil and gas companies highlighted a median pay gap of approximately 20.2%. The report did not include data from within the nuclear energy sector.
These figures were taken from 97 companies operating within the UK energy sector who publicly filed their gender pay gap (GPG) reports for the year 2021-2022. Despite the number of energy companies disclosing such information falling short of other industries, there is a marked improvement from the year 2020-2021, where reporting was voluntary due to Covid-19.
GPG reporting began in 2017 and since then, several energy companies have reduced their GPG figures by 1-2%. Some of these companies have managed to make improvements of up to 5%. However, progress is slow, with some companies figures remaining static and in the case of a few their GPG has increased.
Despite the figures being on par with other industries and sectors, it did highlight an overall improvement within the energy sector when it comes to the GPG. This is likely accountable to the current push for more diversity and inclusion in the sector amid the green energy transition.
One cause of the continued GPG can be attributed to a lack of women working in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and maths) sector. In some sub-sectors, this is being addressed by organisations such as Women in Nuclear and the Young Generation and Nuclear Skills Strategy, who have recently joined forces to tackle gender balance within the nuclear industry. It remains clear that energy companies from all sub-sectors must align with such initiatives to keep improving upon their GPG rates.
Sustainable Future News recently reported on a potential skill gap of up to 200,000 jobs in the UK transition to green energy, along with concerns around diversifying the workforce. With the green energy transition, and subsequent job opportunities, comes the moment to address the gender imbalance and keep improving upon the GPG rates of a historically unequal industry.
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