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Researching companies' disclosure practices regarding gender issues to investigate the gender pay gap in the UK

Project Description

There is a lack of research investigating companies’ disclosure practices regarding gender issues, and their actual practices (Gray, et al. 2013, Grosser and Moon, 2008 and Kent and Zunker, 2013). According to a new regulation by UK government, organisations with 250 or more employees must disclose four types of figures annually: 1) Gender pay gap; 2) Gender bonus gap; 3)Pproportion of men and women receiving bonuses and 4) Proportion of men and women in each quartile of the organisation’s pay structure (Government Equalities Office, 2017). More than 500 firms, including companies like Easyjet, Landbrokes, and Virgin Money, have already disclosed their figures, which reveal discrepancies in pay and bonuses (Palmer, 2018). The results show that there is a gender pay gap of more than 15% in favour of men for mean hourly pay. This proposed study, therefore, aims to investigate possible discrepancies between the gender related disclosures made by UK companies (annual/CSR reports), and their actual practices (companies’ submission to government database).

Applicants interested in this research project should submit a more detailed research proposal (of a maximum of 2000 words) that expands on the broad outline given above.

Funding Notes

This project is funded by a University of Aberdeen Elphinstone Scholarship. An Elphinstone Scholarship covers the cost of tuition fees, whether Home, EU or Overseas.

Selection will be made on the basis of academic merit.


Gray, R., Adams, C.A. and Owen, D. (2013), Accountability, Social Responsibility and Sustainability: Accounting for Society and the Environment. Harlow: Pearson. (Chapters 5, 6 and 7)
Government Equalities Office, 2017, Gender Pay Gap Reporting, published 28 January 2017, https://www.gov.uk/government/news/gender-pay-gap-reporting
Grosser, K. and Moon, J. (2008). “Developments in company reporting on workplace gender equality? A corporate social responsibility perspective”, Accounting Forum, 32: 179-198.
Palmer, K., 2018, Gender pay gap: more than 500 firms reveal their figures, BBC news, 6 January 2018, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-42580194
Kent, P. and Zunker, T., (2013)," Attaining legitimacy by employee information in annual reports ", Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, 26 (7): 1072 – 1106.

Related Subjects

How good is research at Aberdeen University in Business and Management Studies?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 13.30

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

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