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Pay equality research continues with GW4 Accelerator Grant

25 February 2016

Cardiff Business School and WISERD researchers secure additional funding to progress the work of the GW4 Pay Equality Research Consortium

Dr Alison Parken and Rhys Davies will be Co-Investigators of the GW4 Accelerator Grant which follows on from the successful GW4 Initiator Grant in 2015.

Dr Parken is a member of the Management, Employment and Organisation section at Cardiff Business School, and Rhys Davies is Associate Director of ADRC Wales (Administrative Data Research Centre Wales) and a WISERD Research Fellow.

The initial grant to the GW4 Pay Equality Research Consortium (PERC) brought together 30 national scholars to debate tackling the complex issues of pay disparities by gender, ethnicity, religion, disability, sexual orientation and age. PERC is a multi-disciplinary team, led by Principle Investigator Professor Carol Woodhams (Exeter Business School) alongside Co-Investigators Dr Gregory Schwartz (Bristol University), Dr Susan Milner (Bath University) and Dr Parken.

Persistent pay inequality amongst men and women still poses a challenge for employees, policy-makers, organisations, and economies.

The regulation of pay equality highlights tensions between economic concerns and social/individual concerns. These tensions are reflected in the differing assumptions that underpin research approaches. Discussions about pay gaps are controversial across academic disciplines and at all levels of society.  However, in a context dominated by government discourses of deregulation and a voluntary approach to pay transparency, little resource has been allocated to close gaps.

The research conducted by PERC will ultimately have economic, managerial, human resource and policy implications. It is also timely as Section 78 of the Equality Act 2010 will be implemented shortly. This will require private and voluntary organisations with more than 250 employees to report gender pay gaps on an annual basis.

Dr Parken has been closely involved in consultation with the Government Equalities Office team overseeing the introduction of Section 78, drawing on the unique research work on gender pay gaps with Welsh employers undertaken through the WAVE programme.  Find out more about the GW4 project and the Pay Equality Research Consortium.