Hello PPMA members and friends

As many of you will know one of my key themes was women in leadership and how we can improve both the numbers of women in senior positions and working support to us all.  There have been some very interesting debates over the months on this subject, especially around the Women in Leadership group with colleagues in Solace and the Guardian ‘WomenIn’ group.

Recently the last day arrived for companies to declare their Gender Pay Gap.  And what a journey that has been! Just when you think you cant see any worse ones, others appear and the constant theme as though it is some kind of excuse used far too many times, is that its ok as there is no equal pay issues, its just that men work in higher graded roles! And therein lies the problem. Just why do we have so many more men pilots in 2018 and so few women?  For Ryanair to have such a huge pay gap of 72% and only 8 (yes I thought that was a spelling mistake too!) women pilots something fundamentally has to change. I was watching a series about Easyjet just this last week and their new shiny pilot training programme and how many women did I spot – 1 yes 1! Now it might just have been a coincidence that all the other women are on another cohort but didn’t want to be filmed (oh look a flying pig) but really this is so unacceptable.  Im 100% sure that there are women out there who would love to be pilots.  We have to fundamentally look at how we are going to support women and how future generations of boys and girls that all work is available to anyone.

We are better in the public sector (but have still reported 9 out of 10 pay men more than women although not as wide a gap – something positive!!) but there are still huge gaps in women in senior positions, and lets face it all protected characteristics are under represented (as well as social mobility which I think will have to become more widely recognised) so we must use this catalyst to bring about change and real change.  We cannot watch a film made in 2050 showing this is what happened in 2020 and look we still have a  problem.  We have had the Suffragettes and Dagenham Ladies – what are we going to need to bring about true fairness and equity. On current figures, more than 78 per cent of the companies that have reported, pay their male employees more than women, while only 14 per cent have a pay gap in favour of women.  What we need is 50/50 and then lets move on to other issues

I have seen so many insipirational senior women really supporting and mentoring the next generations and there is one easy solution.  How many of you mentor?  And if not why not?  We are the profession who should be doing this and if you can look yourself in the mirror and know you are doing your bit to help others then well done.  It is a free way to pass on all your lovely experience and is challenging when you have bright energetic people who will make you also learn and listen.  I find the experience so worthwhile and having a daughter as many of you know, I want her to learn from others this way.

So as I leave my hat to Karen later this month at the Conference, please continue to work hard on doing your bit to change the way we work so we do become a better place.  Public Services should be leading the way.  I’m at the front – where are you on the journey?