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GSK Chief Emma Walmsley voices support for equal pay campaign

Published on 03/10/19 at 11:54am

GlaxoSmithKline Chief Emma Walmsley has joined the chorus of more than a hundred of the UK’s most successful female business leaders in an initiative aimed at closing the gender pay gap.

Born of the frustration that many of its signatories have personally experienced in being paid demonstrably less than their male counterparts for the same work, the #MeTooPay campaign seeks to tackle pay discrimination in the workplace and shine a light on ineffective or bad company pay policies.

Upon joining GSK in 2016 as the first female head of a major pharmaceutical firm, Walmsley assented to a pay package 25% lower than her predecessor Sir Andrew Witty had enjoyed before leaving the company.

As the campaign’s website, www.metoopay.com, reads: “We’re a group of women who have played leadership roles in some of the UK’s biggest organisations. We’re proud to have played a small part in building a society where more women have a voice at the top table.

“But we’re frustrated to still read stories about women not getting the pay they deserve. Women should not be paid less than men to do exactly the same job. It’s just wrong. So we’re starting a campaign to do something about it.

“We want to see radical and rapid action. And we need your help – whether you’re a man or woman. Over the coming months we’re going to make this website a hub for action. Somewhere you can go to keep up to date on the latest stories of pay discrimination, learn about crucial court cases, and a place to share good and bad policies in action.”

The initiative is led by Dame Moya Greene, the former Chief Executive of Royal Mail, whose male successor agreed a pay package £100,000 higher per year than the £548,000 she was paid, despite the fact he was not as qualified to do the job.

Matt Fellows

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