Tell us your budget: Why 2023 should be the year we all call for greater budget transparency.
Did you know that there’s a point every year where women will, on average, stop earning relative to men for the remainder of the year?
It’s known as Equal Pay Day, and it’s marked every year in a campaign led by The Fawcett Society. Last year, Equal Pay Day fell on 20th November – meaning that, on average, women ended up taking home £564 less than men every month.
With the start of the year now upon us, the clock resets. It remains to be seen whether 2023 will finally be the year that we see meaningful change when it comes to pay equality- but what we do know is that women can’t wait any longer for the gap to close. According to the Fawcett Society, last year the pay gap decreased from 11.9% to 11.3% – an improvement so minuscule it’s barely worth celebrating.
So what should we in the creative sector be doing to genuinely move the dial on eradicating the pay gap?
At Genie, we believe it starts with asking employers to be more transparent about their budgets when sourcing freelance or external talent.
Back in 2021 we introduced a feature which allowed employers to share their project budgets with prospective talent. We did this because we realised how crucial it was for creatives to have all the information to them when receiving a brief, if they are to price themselves fairly.
The results speak for themselves. According to data released on 12th November 2022, the new feature brought down the pay gap on the Genie platform from 2.6% – in the 14 months prior to August 2021, for middleweight levels and above – to zero.
This really demonstrates just how important transparency is. At Genie, we have many years’ experience of watching first-hand as women undervalue themselves. Giving talent more information from the outset is a proven route towards eradicating the gender pay gap, in order to prevent this from happening.
From speaking to members of our community, we know that many others feel the same.
“Transparency works!” said Alex Holder, the author of ‘Open Up: Why Talking About Money Will Change Your Life.’ “We’re seeing the evidence time and time again that transparency is one of the quickest ways to close pay-gaps. So why aren’t we all doing it? Every job ad, every brief, every project should display a clear budget/salary….”
In 2023, it’s high time we can stop talking about pay gaps. We’re very proud that the gap on the Genie platform has reduced to 0% for middleweight and senior talent, but that still leaves us with the massive 11.3% gap in the UK economy more widely. But until the gap is eradicated altogether, it’s vital we keep up the conversation. We believe that with greater transparency, we can get there – but it’s going to take work from every one of us, employer and talent alike.