A New Cam(Pay)n: The creation of MeTooPay seeks to redress the gender pay gap

October 18, 2019

2 min read

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What's going on here?

Over 100 of the most successful women in business have kickstarted a campaign intending to end the disparity between their salaries and their male co-workers.

What does this mean?

The treatment of female bankers at BNP Paribas bank has reportedly triggered a MeTooPay campaign. The case that sparked the movement centres around Stacey Macken, a city banker at BNP Paribas, who successfully challenged her employee’s discriminatory pay practice. Macken alleged she had been paid thousands of pounds less than her equally qualified male colleagues; Macken was recruited on an annual salary of £120,000, yet a few months later saw the arrival of a male colleague who was hired with a starting salary of £160,000, despite having the same job title. The purpose of the new campaign is to put an end to experiences like this. Indeed, the campaign’s founder, former Royal Mail chief Dame Moya Greene, has spoken of her intention to “keep this issue alive” as “pay discrimination is more widespread than we had thought”.

What's the big picture effect?

In their mission to keep pay discrimination at the forefront of people’s minds, MeTooPay have created a website which discusses the most recent cases of pay discrimination, as well as details of the court cases that may arise from these instances. This will increase the scrutiny on large companies as information on instances of discriminatory pay is more easily accessible to the public. The website will also use external sources in order to conduct accurate assessments of the changing state of the gender pay gap. Additionally, the site will consult expert negotiators in order to issue advice on how to secure fairer earnings, giving women expert advice and information that they will be able to use in contract negotiations.

The combination of the website and its high profile members, like Dido Harding (chairman of NHS Improvement) and Emma Walmsley (GSK boss), guarantees the MeTooPay Campaign will receive a substantial amount of attention from the media and public alike. Such attention will inevitably increase the pressure on larger corporations who will have to re-evaluate their distribution of salary.

Despite this, MeTooPay appears to underestimate itself; arguably the people involved in the campaign are newsworthy enough without the inclusion of the MeToo movement. Conflating something as personal as sexual assault with inequality in business may be considered a desperate attempt at sensationalism to gain more publicity. Indeed, a movement claiming to help women at the expense of being insensitive to other women’s experiences immediately undermines its legitimacy. Therefore, whilst having the potential to influence real change, the campaign may benefit from a rebrand.

Report written by Hanna Tesfazghi

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