The subject of the gender pay gap is nothing new – it has been dominating headlines and holding businesses accountable for the last few years.

Upon research, it is still reported that male employees are still getting paid a significant amount more than their female colleagues. According to the independent: ‘Despite efforts and campaigns by women’s rights groups to close the gap, the results found that the gender pay gap has widened in favour of men in the past year, with 78 per cent of the biggest companies in Britain reporting a gap in favour of men.’

‘The UK’s gender pay gap has barely budged in the year since the government imposed new disclosure rules, raising questions over whether its strategy of naming and shaming employers makes them improve their gender pay balance.’ states the Financial Times.

In a year, nothing has changed.

Ssh, don’t discuss your money

There is still the old fashion, non-written rule, that you are not share your earnings with peers, family or friends. It isn’t illegal to do so.

I often wonder if this is a factor that plays a part of the overall gender pay gap? Early on in my career, I was able to witness first hand my male counterpart who joined the same organsiation as me, on the same day, on the same salary within 6 months start to earn a higher salary and received a bigger bonus. We still did the same job. I count myself lucky that I was able to have that confidential and trusted conversation with him and I was able to use that information in the correct way. Although that company didn’t give me a success story, however to this day – I am no longer afraid to ask to be measured against my male peers and that I am given the same opportunity as my male colleague next to me.

I also have a couple of select, trusted friends, where we share our career values, stories and salaries. It is almost a way to benchmark ourselves to ensure we are earning the right money, for our career status and for our long term growth.

As a disclaimer, I am not saying you should shout from the rooftop your salary. But find allies to discuss this matter which in turn I believe help empower you as in fact your friend too.

Manroop Khela, Chief Transformation Officer at Santander UK said: ‘the hardest thing is getting people comfortable with being uncomfortable – big corporations have to get used to hiring managers who look, think and sound different to them.’ Although a white, young female – I long for time where I look at a board of directors and I don’t see balding, grey old mem but I see mixture of genders, races and even social status. With this in mind, the pay gaps can arise due other factors such as race, disability or socio-economic background, can actually be wider piece to the puzzle but rarely get as much air time, largely because they’re not as easy to address as well as measure or quantify.

We cannot assume that things are always going to get better as quickly as we hope.

Women are paid 20% less than men in the IT field, 11% less in civil engineering roles and a shocking 25% less in executive roles. This is further proof that it’s important not to get complacent. Ultimately, we need to demand more as individuals – from our partners, from our colleagues and from our employers.

What do you do, to ensure equal and fair pay in your organisation?