What do people really think about business? 257 years to close the gender pay gap & Sports Direct rebrands

Trust in business has declined over the last year and other stories you may have missed this week.

by Stephen Jones
Last Updated: 20 Dec 2019

2277 will be the year we finally have equal pay

It will be 257 years before the global gender pay gap is closed, according to the World Economic Forum’s latest report. 

The Global Gender Pay Gap Report 2020 reveals that the average annual income for women worldwide is $11,500, compared to $21,500 for men. The current closure forecast is 50 years later than the previous report.

Despite the fact that female representation in senior roles has increased by 2 per cent, women’s overall participation in the labour market has stalled globally at 55 per cent of adult women being in work, versus 78 per cent of adult men. 

Some of the factors holding women back, according to the report, include the motherhood penalty, the fact that when in work women are more likely to be in lower paying or part time roles, as well as ingrained biases and discrimination. 

(Source: The World Economic Forum)


Welcome Frasers...

Mike Ashley has received formal backing from investors to rebrand his Sports Direct Group as Frasers. 

The plan was floated in November and is thought to be motivated partly by difficulties integrating the struggling department store House of Fraser - which Ashley acquired in August last year - into the rest of the group; but also an attempt to move the company’s image beyond sportswear.

In a City memorandum Ashley revealed that the group, which also includes Sports Direct, Flannels, Evans Cycles and Game Digital, expects to increase profits by 15 per cent over the next year after stemming losses at House of Fraser. 

He also hit out at business rates, declaring that some House of Fraser stores will have to close unless the "broken and unworkable" property tax is changed.

(Source: Reuters and The Guardian)

What do people really think about business?

Trust in business to behave ethically has declined over the last year, according to the charity Institute for Business Ethics. 

Of the 2,000 UK adults surveyed by Ipsos Mori, 57 per cent said they expect businesses to behave ethically compared to 62 per cent in 2018. The biggest shift in sentiment was among people aged 18-34. 

The top three concerns listed by respondents related to corporate tax avoidance, executive pay and environmental responsibility. 

(Source: Institute of business ethics)

Image credit: DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS / Contributor via Getty Images


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