I have been watching with interest as more companies publish their Gender Pay Reporting figures on the government website. While there is a template that an organisation must follow to submit to the Gov.uk site, they can include a link to their website and in turn to their Gender Pay Reporting narrative. I am astounded by the differences in the quality of these statements – it’s not about fancy graphical illustrations or professional publications, it’s more about the quality of the content, or indeed the lack of it. The Gender Pay Gap website looks to become required reading for any jobseeker and as such, underprepared companies risk missing out on new talent.
At the very least, companies should acknowledge their pay gap, good or bad, while providing some context around the result and how they compare to other organisations in their sector. It’s also important to share what they currently do well and recognise the areas they can improve upon. Some companies have gone as far as publishing targets and timescales; but I would approach this step with caution. Only commit to what your company can feasibly achieve as progress will likely be tracked.
It is fantastic that some organisations have published before the deadline as this shows a strong commitment to the aims of Gender Pay Reporting. Yet for some companies I would have suggested taking time to develop a supporting strategy, before making it public. I would urge you all to read through the published Gender Pay Reporting narratives. As it stands, there are some clear themes coming through which appear to contribute to the published pay gaps. The most striking is the high proportion of females to males within the lower level roles. Furthermore, in some sectors and functions, role types are noticeably occupied by one gender over another. This shows that the gender pay gap is a far wider issue than direct discrimination within the organisation itself - it is a societal issue and one which nearly all companies face. Individually and together, a change of culture, attitude, policies and practices can improve this picture, which of course is the ultimate purpose of the Gender Pay Regulations. It benefits us all if companies can analyse the already published reports, and use them as context for their own statements.
While this isn’t a lesson in communication, what I can share are some fundamentals that organisations need to include within their published narratives:
Enhance the published gender pay results by developing a narrative, and link to it from the Gov.uk website
Acknowledge the gap and the reasons behind it – good and bad
Provide context and insight into any recruiting challenges faced within your sector – avoiding being patronising or dismissive
Articulate your purpose, values and overarching strategy
Articulate the good work you’ve already done or are doing around inclusion and diversity
Articulate any future plans to positively improve inclusion and diversity
It’s a challenging process to interpret the regulations correctly and carry out the analysis, based on individual organisational nuances, but it is important that the work doesn’t stop there. Your reputational impact as an employer and service/product provider will be down to how well you communicate your pay gap to your employees and the wider public. We’ve been working with our clients for over two years to prepare for Gender Pay Gap Reporting, and ensure that they understand the cause, effect and risk of their results. Effective understanding and communication of your figures will help you stand out from the crowd and lead the way in your sector when it comes to attracting and retaining key talent.
If you’re worried about gender pay, Innecto can help. Call us on 020 3457 0894.