A long way to go to close the UK wage gap: Karren Brady

LONDON – Karren Brady, business leader and star of UK series “The Apprentice”, told CNBC the solution to the gender pay gap is “very simple”.

Brady, who is baroness and vice-chairman of West Ham United Football Club, said there was no magic formula to paying the tie.

“You don’t need the fairies to come down and sprinkle the dust. You need the CEOs and boards of directors to make a concerted effort to pay people what they’re worth, and pay a woman who does the same. work as a man the same rate, it’s very simple, ”she said.

Brady is a partner and keynote speaker at Karren Brady’s Women in Business & Tech Expo, which runs virtually October 13-14. The event is “designed for all women at any stage of their career” and aims to provide “inspiration, guidance and business services to find a perfect career match or support a business” .

Speaking ahead of the event and a key UK government deadline for employers to submit their information on the gender pay gap, Brady told CNBC: “I think what the government was hoping to do by asking for companies to report the discrepancy was to shame them into solving it., and certainly to think about it, and I think it worked. ”

However, she believes there is a “long way to go” in closing the gap.

“We’re a long way from achieving it. As we know from the gaps that have been reported, for every pound a man wins, a woman wins 86p,” she said. “It will take 100 years to close this gap, and in some industries, like technology and finance, it’s more like 40%. So we have a long way to go to solve this problem and a lot to do.”

Research conducted for the Women in Business & Tech Expo on how women weathered the Covid-19 pandemic indicated that it had provided many with the opportunity to “reset,” Brady said.

“I think a lot of women, when we asked them, more than half of them, 62%, said they were looking for a much better work-life balance in their careers, and 59% said they wanted a much better work-life balance in their career. ‘It was more important to achieve this work-life balance. than their salary, ”she said.

Brady told CNBC that employers can do a lot more by “thinking less about flexible working and more about agile working. It’s also about realizing that women need to take time off.”

Baroness Karren Brady, UK Member of Parliament, sports executive, TV personality, newspaper columnist, author and novelist, speaks at the Pendulum Summit, World’s Leading Business & Self Empowerment Summit, at the Dublin Convention Center.

NurPhoto | NurPhoto | Getty Images

“A lot of employers were quite nervous about people working from home and thought that kind of work was really difficult. I think people are now realizing that people can work from home effectively and that this flexibility really helps, ”she said, adding that women don’t work for companies that don’t respect them and pay them what they’re worth.

“So I think a lot of these issues are really taken into account and companies really think that if 50% of the workforce is women and you want great people to work for you… they’re going to have to solve it. some of these problems., ”she continued.

“Take control”

Brady told CNBC that she has always been concerned about the situation of women.

“I have spent my whole life promoting women in business and opening doors for women, and making women realize and understand the value they bring,” she said, explaining that was the reason she organized the exhibition.

“To really encourage women to think about their opportunities, their careers. If they took time off, how do they come back? How do they get this promotion? How do they get this pay rise? How do they climb the ranks. ?” she said.

“All of these things are really important for women not only to take a survey but also to do something about it. We need to take some control over our life and our career and the direction in which we are going in. “


As vice-chairman of West Ham United Football Club, Brady also commented on recent reports that several players in the England football team had refused to be vaccinated against Covid-19.

Brady said she thought the vaccination “is a very personal decision.”

“I think it’s almost impossible to insist that someone get the shot and there will be all kinds of reasons why people won’t. Some of them are these crazy conspiracy theories that are too ridiculous to mention, and others are other real concerns. ”she said.

“But I really think it’s a personal choice. I mean I’m happy to say a lot of our players have had it, some still have reservations and we’re working with them to overcome them, but it’s it really is. a personal choice, I believe. “

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