Taking control of your Gender Pay Gap
It goes without saying that the first step in identifying whether there is a problem with Gender Pay in your organisation is knowing what your Gender Pay Gap is. However, being able to identify exactly where within your organisation these disparities occur is fundamental to answering the bigger questions and developing an action plan to take control.
The direction of travel on Gender Pay is to improve results over future years, and the value of knowing how you can close the Gender Pay Gap allows organisations to track specific metrics over time to ensure policy and practice in the workplace continue to close the gap rather than exacerbate it.
‘Deep Dive’ Analytics
You can begin to understand what practices may be contributing to the Gender Pay Gap and begin to ascertain what you can do to make a difference in the face of overwhelming gender pay differences by conducting ‘deep dive’ analytics. From our own experience in conducting multiple ‘deep dive’ analyses, we have found that the depth and insight garnered from such tests are ultimately dependant on your ability as an organisation to record and track information. By being conscientious in your data gathering, you have the ability to facilitate conversations with proof, supporting what you may suspect is going on, and pinpoint any ‘underwater’ trends in your pay practice which may be driving the Gender Pay Gap.
Analysis of Policies and Practices
Analysis of your HR policies and practices will help uncover whether there is any unintentional bias in payments made to males and females which may be contributing to the gap. Tests looking at the spend in and out of the pay review cycle, the gender split and starting salaries of newly hired employees, as well as cross referencing performance ratings against bonus amounts are typically insightful tests in determining the subtle drivers for your Gender Pay Gap.
Publishing a large Gender Pay Gap undoubtedly draws negative attention, and a gap could be indicative of potential Equal Pay Claims. By conducting further discovery work and an Equal Pay review you can compare male and female employees doing the same work and of equal value, to help you identify and resolve any risk.
A recurring theme we have experienced when running these analyses starts with the hiring process – not just in terms of the gender split but a comparison of the starting salaries and the type and level of the roles males and females are hired at. By applying a broad brush, typically a greater proportion of females are hired at lower levels of the organisation in comparison to males. Males tend to fill STEM and senior positions more frequently which are associated with higher pay, compounding the Gender Pay disparity.
To account for this, an organisation may consciously train their hiring managers to cast a wider net when looking for candidates - by searching job fairs, employee referrals, headhunting or internal hires - rather than waiting for applications or candidates from a recruitment agency, thus ensuring a wider selection and fairer opportunities to males and females.
Building an organisation that employees can be proud of is key to employee engagement and attracting and retaining talent. Therefore, it is important not just to focus on the data but also how it’s communicated both externally and internally to the employees.
The communications are vital to reassuring colleagues by saying that the organisation is aware of the Gender Pay Gap and its underlying causes and is implementing and tracking policies and practices in order to combat this. Creating a clear narrative on Gender Pay differences with a richer context than the headline figures, published alongside your numbers, helps to demonstrate commitment to improvement. Even when Gender Pay Gaps are viewed as extreme and over the national average, if the organisation has a reason for the underlying cause and a clear action plan, this is more impactful and encouraging than an organisation who simply publishes the mandatory figures.
If you require assistance with your Gender Pay report or analysis, please email me at email@example.com or call 020 3457 0894.