Never have so many worked so hard to reward so few.

Many of us are uncomfortable with the behaviors of our forbears. Slavery is a recent and obvious example that has resulted in question-marks of many statues erected with pride only a short while ago and one, in particular, being cast into the harbor in Bristol. Perhaps we would be better spending more time considering what we now believe to be socially acceptable but in generations to come will look questionable or even immoral.

For most of us, there are few positives to be taken from the Covid pandemic. Could it be that one of the few is that we have the opportunity to look at the way our society is structured and consider if it could be better? Many of the key workers who we clapped our hands for on a Thursday evening are among the lowest paid in the country. Social justice and inequality are brought to all our minds by the efforts of Marcus Rashford and others.

This morning I read on the BBC website that the CEOs of FTSE100 companies earn as much as the average annual salary within 3 days. Note average not minimum wage.

Daniel Pryor from the Adam Smith Institute said “good management is more important than ever”. I find it interesting that he equates high salaries with good management. I wonder how many people would agree with that sentiment?

He also says that top talent is needed. Undoubtedly but is it the right sort of talent when they think it is fair and reasonable to be paid roughly 120 times the national average? Note again average not lowest.

Would I as a worker, within that corporate body, feel better motivated if I felt that rewards were more fairly distributed? Alternatively, what would I feel if I found out the CEO was earning that much more than me? It’s time to look for a different company may be the obvious answer.

It would also be interesting to note what the average lifespan is of a FTSE 100 company where the CEO’s are so lavishly paid? Could it be that they are more interested in themselves or the highest bidder rather than the customer or the workforce?

Critics also said that such analysis fuels the politics of envy. Is that really so or would it be better to look at it as fuelling the politics of fairness?

Of course, they may say there is a lot of stress that goes with the role of a CEO. Increasingly though it is recognized that a CEO on a high salary and with the comfort of knowing that departure will mean a good pay off may be less stressed than the shop floor worker on a month’s notice. Added to which they have the autonomy that most of us can only dream of.

The success of a leader of a large business is surely dependent on everybody within the organization not just the man at the helm.

This is not meant to be political and of course, there is no easy answer. Of course there need to be differentials, of course, there need to be motivating rewards but has it gone too far? Are we ever though going to get a better opportunity to look at the way our society is structured for the benefit of us all not just the few.

According to the article in the early 1980’s it is estimated that a CEO earned roughly 20 times that of the average worker. Looked at another way never have so many worked so hard to reward so few. 


Who am I? A chap living in Nottingham, United Kingdom who perhaps has a much higher level of enthusiasm than ability leading to an interest in many things but mastery of none. A father of three no longer dependent children, or so they tell me, and husband to a one-time nurse who now works with me (or rather I work for). I attempt to take photographs and occasionally fluke half decent shots though thank goodness I no longer have to buy film. I endeavour to practice karate but with advancing years spend more time instructing them participating but actively participate in the more gentle tai chi. Professionally I have spent the last twenty years in recruitment – not always the most highly regarded ‘industry’. For my part I take great pleasure in helping companies to find the right people and a lot of satisfaction out of seeing them thrive and succeed. More recently I have spent a lot of time helping people who have, or fear they may, lose their jobs. For many putting a CV together is so difficult and then finding opportuniteis can be a major challenge. Interviews can be a different problem altogether but with a little help most people can perform a lot better than they otherwise would.

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