Tech & Tonic: Gender pay gap widens, the contradictions of Sir Philip and Bank Hols blues

Women, watch out - just when you think the gender pay gap couldn’t get any wider…  (Image by Suad Kamardeen)

Women, watch out - just when you think the gender pay gap couldn’t get any wider… (Image by Suad Kamardeen)

News story of the week: Action on gender pay gap

Yesterday, the Treasury Committee released its Report on Women in Finance. Committee chair Nicky Morgan MP invited a selection of women in senior finance roles to talk about whether or not any progress had been made on the ground.

Whether you like her politics or not, you’ve got to like the idea of Tory Morgan’s direct approach to solving the disparity problem. She’s gone straight to those who are feeling the effects (or not) of the pay gap to find out what’s actually going on, instead of relying on bland bumph or spin from corporate comms departments.

Speaking of spin, New Model Adviser quoted a spokeswoman from HSBC’s HR department, who commented on the fact that her company’s gender pay gap had grown even wider recently: “HSBC HR director Elaine Arden said it is more about the culture and shape of an organisation than the numbers…”.

What with the constant bragging about their breadth of cultural understanding, you would have thought HSBC would be leading the way with this. Let’s hope this year’s figures are just a blip. We await their next gender pay report with baited breath.

Comment piece of the week: Sir Philip gets called out for ‘pleading poverty from his yacht’

Shamed Arcadia chairman, alleged sexual predator and some could even say ‘pension-pincher’ Sir Philip Green was the subject of a Nils Pratley op-ed for The Guardian this week, as the uber-rich Penguin lookie-likey managed to get some retail rental payments cut in half.

Pratley painted a blood-boiling picture of irony whilst commenting on the decision, which was made during a courtroom appeal this month: “…he successfully pleaded poverty from the deck of his large motor yacht, currently moored in Sanremo.”

The victory for Sir Philip and his (again, allegedly) big wallet comes during the same week he proudly told the BBC that journalists were jealous of him being able to ‘write big cheques’ and so, have tarnished his reputation as a result. It seems the BHS staff who lost their pensions under his leadership ((cough, cough)) were not contacted for comment.

Number of the week: £200,000 for new Bank Holiday date

For those who like to plan ahead, take note - next’s year’s May Bank Holiday will be on a Friday instead of a Monday, to coincide with the 75th VE Day anniversary. Now we’ve shared the important news and inspired you to plan your next break, spare a thought for calendar printers Allan & Bertram, who were organised enough to print their 2020 stock in advance before the new date was announced.

Rectifying the situation will cost them £200,000 and of course, they aren’t best please. Their MD Andrew Bennett told The Mirror: "We're totally in agreement with changing the date. Just not changing it with 11 months notice, when you've had 74 years to prepare for this event."

Hopefully Andrew will make back the £200,000 by consulting with the Government on how not to take 74 years to prepare for Brexit. Just a thought…

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