Diversity and inclusion in tech: The pandemic and the pay gap

In this video from Computer Weekly’s annual diversity and inclusion in tech event, in partnership with Spinks, Suki Fuller, founder of Miribure and co-lead of TLA Women in Tech, discusses the gender pay gap in the context of a pandemic world, alongside a panel of experts.

Fuller delivers a workshop on the gender pay gap in the tech sector in the context of a post-lockdown 1.0 world, covering topics such as what the gender pay gap looks like for women and non-binary people who are parents, carers or singletons during the coronavirus pandemic.

Noting the gender pay gap has been an issue for more than 50 years, Fuller explains the Covid-19 pandemic could have an even bigger impact on pay disparity for those who are considered to be from under-represented groups in the tech sector.

Fuller is joined by a panel of experts including:

  • Dianne Greyson, director, Equilibrium Mediation Consulting and managing partner, Synergised Solutions
  • Sarah Luxford, co-founder, Tech London Advocates Women in Tech
  • Tobi Oredein, founder, Black Ballad
  • Victoria McKay, CEO, Tech Mums

The panel address topics such as the impact the coronavirus pandemic has had on new mothers, the ethnicity pay gap, whether working from home is really as beneficial for parents as it is touted to be, what the specific tech sector implications are for working mothers during the pandemic, a relaxation of gender pay reporting rules, and how this ongoing problem can be addressed.

In the technology sector there is a pay gap between men and women who do the same role, and there are also fewer women in more senior positions which means on average women in the sector will likely earn less than men.

While many believe reporting gender pay gaps will contribute towards fixing them in the future, as it forces firms to own up to, and take responsibility for, their contribution in inequality, gender pay reporting was put on hold in 2020, and Greyson says in many cases the ethnicity pay gap isn’t reported on at all.

The panel point out those who are parents or carers are in more danger of losing out on work during the pandemic, citing examples of carers having to skip work because the person they are caring for is shielding, or parents who are unable to juggle work and childcare while schools and other facilities are closed.

They also discuss the increased burden upon mothers during home-schooling, as mothers are spending more time on average sorting kid’s home education than fathers – which can reflect poorly on their ability to work or how they are perceived by their employers.

Some are forced to make up work outside of work hours, putting a strain on mental health.

Putting it bluntly, Oredein claims: “Women’s progress is going to be slowed down a hell of a lot by furlough and by Covid-19.”

The panel give advice such as ensuring gender pay reporting is adopted no matter a company’s size, ensuring robust diversity and inclusion policies, ensure women are part of decision-making processes and working together to lobby the government for better results.

More videos from the 2020 Computer Weekly Diversity in Tech event

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