Marketing industry urged to ‘own’ isocio-economic pay gap problem

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The UK has an average class pay gap of £6,718 or 13.05%, according to new statistics from the Social Mobility Foundation.

Today (14 November) marks Class Pay Gap Day, the point in the year when people from working-class backgrounds in higher professional managerial positions cease earning relative to their peers. Throughout the year it means they effectively work for free nearly one day in every seven.

“Every time you have the conversation, you’re struck by the waste of talent those numbers represent,” says Social Mobility Foundation CEO Sarah Atkinson.

“On a human, individual level the waste of those talented people, and then on an industry, social and economic level the waste of people who can make a contribution and are not being supported or recognised for that contribution. We never stop being angry about this, but we never let that anger get in the way of bringing the solutions, bringing the hope that this is not an insolvable problem.”

The analysis looked at pay data between 2014 and 2021 across 15 ‘elite’ occupations, excluding marketing, exploring the intersection between class, gender and race. The research reveals a “double disadvantage” for working class women, who are paid on average £9,450 less than male colleagues in the same role.

The study also found people of Bangladeshi and black Caribbean heritage are paid £10,432 and £8,770 less, respectively, than their white peers in the same jobs.

When it comes to regions in the UK, Northern Ireland has the largest class pay gap at £8,537, followed by London (£7,713). Working-class employees in Northern Ireland are almost three times worse off than those in Scotland (£2,848).

You may not have to wear a suit [in marketing], but we all know people dress right and don’t dress right, and there are all those unwritten codes.

Sarah Atkinson, Social Mobility Foundation

The Social Mobility Foundation data tallies with Marketing Week’s 2022 Career and Salary Survey, which uncovered…


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