Essential Considering in Knowledge Evaluation: The Barclays Gender Pay Hole
« Breaking Information: Senior executives are paid greater than junior positions »
It was nearly a yr in the past that Steve Wexler and I wrote a weblog publish on a really related subject. Again in January 2017, we wrote in regards to the evaluation that was achieved in a terrific most of the Makeover Monday visualizations on the Australian Gender Pay Hole. You may learn extra about that here. Yesterday, I noticed various trending notifications for Barclays that caught my consideration and I puzzled what was happening. After I searched Barclays, I shortly began to see Tweets and information articles equivalent to those beneath.
Similar to the Australian gender pay knowledge that we wrote about final yr, these headlines are evaluating averages. At the least Bloomberg and CNBC used the phrase « common ». And buried in a few of these articles is the necessary level.
« The disparity in Barclays’s gender pay is exacerbated by a disproportionate variety of males in senior positions on the financial institution. » – Bloomberg
« Barclays mentioned that it paid women and men in the identical roles equally. » – BBC
The issue with these headlines is that with out bearing in mind the distribution of the information, it masks the actual situation at hand.
You could recall the picture from that final publish outlining the risks of utilizing averages.
The hazard of utilizing averages from Why Not to Trust Statistics.
Right here is one other instance from Ben Jones that compares the salaries of Seattle Seahawks soccer gamers.
Seattle Seahawks wage distributions. Supply: Ben Jones.
That is precisely what’s going on at Barclays. The headlines for a lot of of those information articles are merely incorrect. For instance, the MSN headline reads « Barclays pays feminine funding bankers half that of male friends. » A peer is usually considered somebody who is identical age, standing, rank and talent. Somebody studying these headlines would shortly assume that Barclays is paying males far more than girls who’re in the identical function and that’s incorrect.
I do not understand how this occurs. One information group will get it improper after which others bounce on board with a extra sensational headline. This can be out of ignorance, individuals not studying the Barclays report or it may very well be that they’re making an attempt to sensationalize the difficulty. The issue is that it is improper. These information organizations, these headlines and a few on social media are spreading misinformation.
Barclays wrote up a superb report that outlines the difficulty. That is NOT a problem of males being paid greater than girls for a similar job. The underlying downside, which Barclays clearly states of their report, is that there are extra girls in junior degree roles and extra males in senior degree roles. Actually, they use some nice knowledge visualizations to clarify what is going on on within the knowledge.
The chart beneath exhibits the rely of workers in Senior Administration, Center Administration and Junior Employees. Discover that on the Senior Degree of the group there are only a few girls, and in Center Administration, there may be almost double the variety of males vs. girls. On the opposite finish of the group, girls dominate the Junior Employees, with almost double the variety of girls in these junior roles vs. males.
To focus on this additional, a method for Barclays to « remedy » this gender pay hole is to truly discriminate towards girls and solely rent males within the decrease paying jobs. Then this hole would go down, however that actually would not be a desired end result.
It is easy to know why there may be such a big hole within the wage when defined on this method. This explicit situation at Barclays has nothing to do with unequal pay. Slightly, it has to do with the truth that there will not be sufficient girls within the senior and center administration roles. Barclays recognized this as a problem and wrote that they’re dedicated to working to enhance this. Slightly than specializing in the wage hole, we must be monitoring the variety of senior and center managers. Center managers possible have a chance to advance into senior administration roles, so this could be a great space to watch fastidiously. For instance, they need to observe the variety of women and men in center administration over time to see if there’s a optimistic development on this phase of the worker base. Then efforts may very well be made to help these girls and their growth plans.
Barclays CEO, Jes Staley, understands the center of the difficulty. He mentioned, « Though feminine illustration is rising at Barclays, we nonetheless have excessive proportions of girls in additional junior, decrease paid roles and excessive proportions of males in senior, extremely paid roles. »
It appears RBS, and doubtless many different corporations, is dealing with the identical situation. Bloomberg reported this morning, « RBS’s Female Staff Paid 37% Less on Average Than Men ». At the least they slipped within the phrase « common » and this text additionally spells out the actual situation far more intimately.
« Males make up about 70 % of the workers in RBS highest-paid quartile, mirroring the proportion of girls within the financial institution’s lowest-paid quartile. »
The Chair of the Treasury Committee within the UK mentioned, « A method of lowering the gender pay hole is to extend the proportion of girls in additional senior roles, so it seems that Barclays is heading in the right direction. » That is the important thing takeaway and a significant situation that must be addressed, not simply within the monetary providers trade, however within the subject of knowledge analytics and plenty of different fields. I will focus on this extra in an upcoming weblog publish that’s already within the works.
The main information organizations ought to know higher than to publish false or deceptive headlines. Which may be an unrealistic objective lately, however in case you are studying this far then I hope I can a minimum of impart this little bit of knowledge to you. Everybody makes errors, however I problem you to suppose critically about your knowledge evaluation, query the information and don’t unfold misinformation.
Jeffrey A. Shaffer
Observe on Twitter @HighVizAbility