There has been a lot of noise around the gender pay gap reporting recently with the closing deadline just gone.
There has also been a lot of confusion around what it actually is. The gender pay gap isn’t indeed synonymous with equal pay.
In a nutshell, the gender pay gap is the difference in the average earnings between all men and women in an organisation whilst equal pay is the difference in the actual earnings of men and women doing equal work.
Many organisations have focused on explaining their gender pay gap by relying on the fact that more men hold senior position. What is important with this reporting exercise however is to look at how things can be improved.
Below are some initiatives which could have an impact on the next year’s round of results:
- enabling flexible working opportunities at all levels of the organisation for men and women alike.
- enabling men and women to apply for roles in more even proportions. Through job and advert design it needs to be clear. Mentioning flexible working for example, can attract more female applicants (Timewise’s research has revealed that only 1 in 10 job adverts mention flexible working). Indeed, if organisations don’t have more women candidates in the mix at recruitment or promotion stages, then women have less chances of being selected overall.
- ensuring that there is no bias at any stages of recruitment & promotion processes and in general day to day management. Through employee inductions and better training of managers to make them aware of their own biases, it is possible to limit the effects of bias.
- ensuring that women are supported internally and that their skills are discussed openly – a Harvard Business School study revealed that men are more likely to put themselves forward for a promotion, even if they are not fully ready, whilst many women believe that they’re not ready, when in fact they are.
Overall, these initiatives need to be carried by Senior Leaders and values such as inclusion and fairness must underpin company culture.