There’s been some interesting debate and discussion in the HR community this last week around gender balance in the profession with the CIPD Members magazine People Management dedicating 7 pages of it’s latest issue to the plight of men working in HR.
Now those of you that know me either IRL of have engaged with me on twitter (@pontecarloblue) can probably imaging the eye rolling that took place at my desk when I read about these poor men who had to ‘talk about their wife’ to break the ice.
REALLY??? I MEAN REALLY – the question asked on the front page is Does HR have a problem with men? Well the short answer is Yes. In the UK they get paid 10% more than their female colleagues and despite the profession being 79% female. Also ask any HR professional and they will confirm that when you look at HR/People Directors men don’t seem to be under-represented there – the article even notes that at lower levels the balance is 70% female to 30% male where in more senior ranks it flips to 30% female and 70% male.
So Yes, HR does have a problem with men but the burning platform isn’t gender balance its gender pay. The Chartered Institute of Management undertook a survey recently with Xpert HR that’s been widely reported in the trade press where they have found that the gender pay gap for managers in business is 26.8% in favour of men and in HR 10% in favour of men. So yes well done HR let’s pat ourselves on the back we’re better than average – woo hoo way to go! Shouldn’t we be the exemplar, shouldn’t we be setting the standard? The article compares the gender gap in HR with that in Marketing (they have 59% women to 41% man) but research by the CIPR shows that they have a pay gap of over 26% so gender balance doesn’t mean greater equality.
Talking about the CIPR they are doing some great work around fixing that gender pay gap and highlighting the importance to their members – be great to see the CIPD doing something similar. You can read more about the CIPR work here
So rather than worrying about whether there are enough men in HR, or whether the poor snowflakes* are concerned with the tag ‘girly’ or ‘fluffy’ lets deal with the real issue and sort out the gender pay gap. Oh and get our businesses sorted with Gender Pay Reporting (only 80 of the estimated 7000+ have reported since April 2017!).
Oh and don’t get me started on the male and female perspective baloney…what does that even mean? Oh no wait I know all us women are going to be thinking about kittens and unicorns and stuff not those commercial, business realities. Hold me back……
Ok rant over, yes all professions need to be inclusive and yes we should promote diversity and inclusion in HR (at ALL levels) but what is it that is really stopping men working in HR or chasing a career in HR? Is it that they can’t join HR club because that don’t have a handbag full of tampax and kleenex? Of course it isn’t – that’s a much wider debate about what makes HR attractive as a career.
If you want to know more about Gender Pay Reporting CIPD Central London are holding an event on 1st November – “Gender Pay Reporting – A Practical Guide” – you can get more information and buy tickets here
*snowflake – this is a term that has come to prominence since the 2016 USA elections on social media as it was used to describe liberals; it’s described in the Urban Dictionary as A term used to describe extremist liberals that get offended by every statement and/or belief that doesn’t exactly match their own. These individuals think they are just as “unique” as snowflakes, when really their feelings are just as fragile. However, is now been adopted by both sides of the debate to mean an oversensitive person that doesn’t take criticism well. I haven’t used it well and in all honesty don’t like it as a term, or name calling in general but my eye rolling will only go so far this Monday morning.