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Aviva: Could flexible working worsen the gender pay gap?

Work-life balance-2015Giving employees the opportunity for more flexible working may mean younger men will pull more weight in their family lives than the previous generation, but runs a risk of further widening the gender pay gap.

MPs on the Treasury Committee held a hearing this morning on progress made since its recent Women in Finance report.

Aviva UK Life interim chief executive Angela Darlington said companies should be internally asking their employees whether they would like to carry on with their career or focus on your families.

She said: “We should have equal conversation with men and women.”

Darlington said that while she receives a range of reactions to this question, from some men asking “what is this going to do to my career”, to women saying “great, you can emphatise with me”, the younger generation is likely going to have more balanced reaction.

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She said: “Only time will tell, if they take a more equal weight. I think the younger generation is more mindful to do that – to have a more equal home life, to have dual careers. It is more normal.”

However, she also raised a concern that this could widen the gender pay gap: “You would be hoping that both men and women would be taking the opportunity to work more flexibly and fitting around their family life. However one of the risks is that it will be women and will just exacerbate the gender pay gap.”

The gender pay gap compares the remuneration of female and male workers at the company over period, regardless of their position at the company.


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