In June, IOSH Magazine’s salary survey determined that median earnings of female OSH practitioners were 5% lower than male respondents.
That’s almost half the 9.4% gender pay gap for all UK occupations…
(Article by Louise Hosking featured in IOSH Magazine August 2017)
Women in OSH are in the minority, but more are choosing to enter the profession. The OSH skills shortage may explain why the differential is half the national average but, as a woman, I believe any pay gap suggests employers value the work we do less.
Many women can tell stories of being automatically treated as a subordinate to male colleagues. I was once asked if I was serving the food when I was standing beside a buffet for a meeting I was chairing. It wasn’t that long ago that OSH careers in the Middle East were open to male applicants only. Laws may change, but attitudes take much longer to catch up.
I have always felt I had to put in more effort than my next-best male counterpart. It’s something I accepted early in my career and perhaps it has made me better at what I do. I know I can be dropped into almost any situation and make a difference.
Conversely, I have been asked to support businesses that have specifically sought a woman; some employers recognise the genders approach work differently and place their own value on that difference.
It wasn’t that long ago that OSH careers in the Middle East were open to male applicants only. Laws may change, but attitudes take much longer to catch up
The salary survey identified a clear advantage of moving up the IOSH membership grades. The greater our experience, the greater our worth. Women are more likely than men to take a career break or to work part time, which will affect their levels of experience.
To read the full article featured in August 2017 Iosh Magazine click here: Ioshmagazine.com