The BBC, gender pay and the underrated role of pay governance
I've tried to think of a more catchy title but to be honest; it comes down to the deeply unsexy practice of pay governance. The opposite of swashbuckling chequebook recruitment. The opposite of the drama and excitement of landing a big fish, at any cost. Which all adds up, in the end, to the opposite of fairness, integrity and maintaining a link to the values of the organisation.
But before we go too far down this road, let's just all recognise that what has befallen the BBC could be replicated by any organisation, if they had to release a comprehensive list of top earners. Most organisations are dominated at the top by high earning white males. Most organisations have more lower-paid female employees and few well-paid BAME team members. Many organisations feel pressure to recruit 'stars' at any price, whether it's in commercial, IT or investment.
The transparency and subsequent fallout for the BBC will have sent shivers down the spine of RemCom Chairs and Chairmen everywhere. Gender pay disclosure is happening, is in the media's target zone and will attract attention from unions and no win no fee lawyers.
So, does pay governance sound so unsexy now? It's about systematic and diligent checking of relative pay levels via effective job evaluation and market benchmarking - taking account of both the internal and external pay market. Lots of individual decisions may feel right in the heat of the battle, but reward and HR's role is about resisting the siren call of 'now, more, bigger,' without taking a long hard look at justifiable differences and bringing the wider picture back to fairness and, treating people of all backgrounds with integrity.
We've been working with some clients for over a year now, to conduct systematic reviews of their equal pay risk and build analytics to predict future changes. If you feel you’re a bit late to the party, don't worry. We've been waiting for you! Give us a call to get started: 020 3457 0894