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Openness on pay scale has to be welcomed; NICKIE GOTT.

DAVID Cameron announced last week that the Government is making "a really big move" when it comes to address the gender pay gap.

Soon the rule will be introduced that every private sector company with 250 employees or more publish the gap between its average male and female earnings.

In my role at the NECC and owner of my own events business I welcome this news and also the call to make boards more diverse. It shows that UK business is heading in the right direction. Requiring private sector employers to be more open about gender pay differences should bring pressure to bear on them to explain the reasons for those differences and to consider what they can do to eliminate them.

We need to get to the bottom of this and keep asking "Why?" Why should two people, doing similar jobs, with similar experience and skills be paid differently. Because one is male and one is female? It doesn't make sense.

And it's not just in the business work. Hollywood actress Amanda Seyfried recently revealed she was paid a tenth of the wage her male co-star received for an unnamed big-budget movie, at a time when both were well-known names in Hollywood.

We strongly support the view that a much better balance should be encouraged on boards and encourage businesses to move outside established networks to make their organisations more diverse and prevent women from missing an opportunity they deserve.

Our members continue to tell us the positive impact having a diverse workforce is having on their company performance and we hope this will encourage smaller firms to follow this lead. At NECC we continue our support for women in business: Encouraging and supporting greater levels of female entrepreneurship; Maximising employment and career development opportunities for women; Bridging the gender gap in skills to ensure our future industries have a world class workforce.

We are working to address each of these issues, including a series of events to connect and inspire women in business, supporting the North East Woman Entrepreneur of the Year Awards, and a specific programme to encourage girls to pursue STEM subjects.

If you area woman running a business in any sector, of any size, shape or turnover, or area leading an organisation, we want to hear your story. Whether you've just started or you've been trading for years, there's a category for you. Get in touch at www.winawards.co.ukNickie Gott chair of NECC's Women's Advisory Board

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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Jul 22, 2015
Words:413
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