10 Do's and Don'ts for Gender Pay Gap reporting
We’re only a few weeks away from the GPG Year 2 deadline, but only 2,520 companies have reported thus far out of a potential 10,500 (as of 19/3/19).
Much like last year, we’re expecting a rush of last-minute submissions. But when looking at reports submitted thus far, it’s possible to pick out positive themes and identify some common pitfalls. So here’s our top 10 Do’s and Don’ts for Gender Pay reporting – both this year and the next.
1. Do – understand what you are doing. So far 55 companies have uploaded last year’s results on to this year’s portal. Furthermore, last year many companies reported inaccurate or mathematically impossible results. As well as being publicly embarrassing for your company, inaccurate results suggest a lack of commitment to gender equality, which is disheartening for both present and future employees.
2. Don’t – leave it till the last minute! At our Pay Trends Roadshows in January this year, a quick straw poll revealed that the majority of attendees had completed their Year 2 reporting but were holding off on publication. Why? Presumably in a bid to avoid negative PR – but dragging your feet reflects poorly on your organisation and suggests you see it merely as a box-ticking exercise. Be proactive!
3. Do – craft a good narrative. The narrative is even more important this year, due to the need to compare two sets of results. Last year my colleague Sarah Lardner gathered some top tips for telling your story, which are still highly relevant.
4. Do – dig into your results. Innecto offers a ‘deep dive’ analysis for our clients that identifies weak spots in pay practise which are driving your underlying issues. Undertaking this analysis means you can fully understand any long-term systemic problems with gender and the way that men and women are paid. This also enables you to communicate the complexity which sits behind your results, giving a full and fair picture of pay at your organisation.
5. Do - talk to your internal communications/marketing teams. If you’re struggling to put together a complex message on Gender Pay, pick up the phone to your in-house comms team. Marketeers are trained to pick out and communicate benefits rather than features and are an excellent resource when developing messaging.
6. Do – present your results relative to last year – even if they’re worse. Unfortunately some organisations will see a stall or even increase in their Gender Pay Gap. This could be down to apathy – but more likely it’s more complicated than that. Initiatives to improve the gap, such as increasing your intake of women at entry-level, can drive a negative impact in results in the short term. Likewise, changes at executive level can unduly tip the scales – if a senior woman leaves and is replaced with a male colleague, you may see a significant knock-on in your results. The tricky bit is communicating these developments without sounding like you're making excuses.
7. Do – frame things within a long-term context. Balancing out the Gender Pay Gap is a marathon not a sprint. Fluctuations in your results in the short-term are not the end of the world, as long as you have evidence-based initiatives in place to support a targeted plan.
8. Do – highlight successes and work taken on to address equality in the workplace. Give details on work you’ve already done or are doing around inclusion and diversity, and how this ties in with your supporting strategy. For example, a spotlight on recruitment activity – eg. to redress the balance of male to female executives.
9. Don’t – leave things unexplained. Even a nose dive in results needs explanation without excuses. Be honest – make a comparison to last year, explaining and contextualising any stall or increase in the gap. Tackling difficult results head on is much better than trying to brush them under the carpet, and reflects better on your reputation as an employer.
10. Don’t – set unrealistic targets. With the best will in the world, eliminating the Gender Pay Gap entirely is a huge challenge. Whilst Gender Pay reporting has rightly shone a spotlight on individual employers, it’s a far wider issue than direct discrimination within organisations - it is a societal problem and one which nearly all companies face. Your goals should be ambitious, but achievable.
If you’re worried about gender pay, Innecto can help. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 020 3457 0894.