Making the Gender Pay Gap Count

Woman working

Recently I co-chaired a round-table discussion on the Gender Pay Gap with Staffmetrix CEO Anthony Horrigan.

Our hosts, leadership consultancy Wilton & Bain, had tasked us with answering two questions:

  • “How do we master the data?” (Anthony’s line of work, running his data visualisation platform)
  • “How do we build some impetus to flush out any inequality?” (one of our specialisms).

Around the table sat a group of savvy and experienced HR Directors from the telecoms, construction, financial services and technology industries. Collectively we came up with the following opportunities which the Gender Pay Gap offers. It seemed ungenerous of me not to share them with you.


5 Gender Pay Gap Opportunities

1. Create accountability from the top down

Drill down into the data so that you can measure how inclusive your managers and leaders are, then hold them accountable for supporting the progression of diverse talent. For example, you could study the pay gap of bonuses by team and then provide additional training for those managers who are heavily biased in how they reward performance. And set the expectation that they show a gender-balanced approach in the future to combat conscious and unconscious gender bias.

2. Treat your employees like grown ups

Internal communications on diversity topics should be honest and transparent. If your gap is partly down to the small numbers of women at the top of the company, then acknowledge that progression of female talent is a real business challenge. Make a statement of intent about how you will proactively address this. Your staff will thank you for it, and be more inclined to stay with you on your inclusion journey. (See our Inclusive Culture Pledge.)

3. Be inquisitive

Take a holistic approach and you’ll come up with an authentic narrative for people. Take other data into account – like engagement surveys, maternity returns, flexible working and attrition rates – to build up a true picture of why the gap exists. Staffmetrix can help in segmenting and visualising that data.

4. Measure the culture change

You have a benchmark now, and in the first year it’s going to be important to identify a set of quick wins to show progress on closing the gap. Perhaps a review of your talent management process or a rationale for assigning secondments which is based on a clear criteria, rather than simply selecting the nearest ‘safe pair of hands.’ If you’re struggling to figure out your strategy for closing the gap, you can always contact me and I’d be happy to help.

5. Get ahead now

Start collecting intersectional diversity data before it’s a legal requirement and you will gain a more rounded picture of how inclusive your working practices are for all groups. Forward-thinking firms are collecting and analysing on ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation and in some cases social/economic background. All of a sudden your data becomes 3D and your corporate culture comes to life.

For more on working with EW Group to action-plan on closing your gender pay gap

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