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Gender pay gap widespread problem say business leaders

A study commissioned by Xactly exploring the causes and repercussions of the gender pay gap has revealed that the UK business community is struggling to re-address the balance.

In the survey of 250 UK C-level executives within organisations of 250+ employees the majority (85%) admitted that a gender pay gap exists amongst the UK business community, with over two-thirds (68%) admitting they have personally witnessed a difference in compensation between men and women.

man and woman at work
Photo by krakenimages on Unsplash

Almost half (49%) believe the reason for the difference they have experienced was “a natural prejudice against women within that organisation.” While 62% believe a pay gap continues to exist because “women take time out of their careers to have children and struggle to catch-up with male counterparts on return”. In fact, 72% of execs believe those women will never catch-up to male peers unless they leave their company.

Looking at business readiness in re-addressing the pay balance, almost all (92%) of business leaders would be disappointed if a gender pay gap exists within their organisation. Reassuringly, more than eight-in-ten leaders (82%) say their business has a clear strategy to review and close the gap. Although over a third (38%) did admit that they lack the data and analytics capabilities needed to identify the gap.

“The key to closing the pay gap is to understand why it persists. Part of the problem is that most businesses lack the ability to access, analyse and action the data needed to highlight the gap,” said Tom Castley, Vice President EMEA at Xactly. “Data is the first and critical step in helping to readdress the pay balance, it is the solution and businesses need help to make it work for them.”

Assessing the future success of the UK Government’s new policy aimed at reducing the gap, 17% stated that attempts to close the gap should be led by the Government. However the impact of such Government-led efforts is in question with over a quarter (26%) of execs being unaware of the new policy.

“The Government can play a part in helping to close the gender pay gap. But businesses also need the analysis of their pay information to make informed decisions about it,” added Castley. “The new policy is only one part of the solution. The survey results clearly indicate that business leaders want to create pay equality need the data to equip them properly to take on the gender pay gap and close it.”

To download the full “Unequal Playing Field” report and to find out more about Xactly’s recommendations to help close the gender pay gap, please visit