The Gender pay gap is one of the most-discussed topics in our hemisphere this spring. Just after International Women’s Day and a number of protests in major European countries, we’re approaching the big day in the UK: the deadline for companies to publish gender pay gap data.
So far, only ⅓ of companies that are legally obliged to release the data have done so.* The official deadline is 4th April (30th March for the public sector). The common assumption is that most of the companies have the reports ready to publish but they might be sitting on the data to delay the public outcry.
But what can we actually do to address the gender pay gap?
There is a few things that you may want to try.
The first thing is to simply acknowledge the issue. The gender pay gap exists. The average for the UK is around 9% (2017)** but for some companies it exceeds 50%.
Feel free to check the gender pay reporting tool, this great calculator that will show you hourly rates for men and women, you can also analyse bonus pay.
Secondly, be aware that we can be influenced by this phenomena to a larger extent than we think. Look from a wider perspective - automatically check how many women you’re seeing perform low-paid jobs and how many men compared to women are part of the C-suite.
The third point, perhaps most importantly, is understanding that the gender pay gap is not a problem. It is just one of the effects of the underlying issues that are not working optimally in the economy. To truly get a grasp of what’s happening we need to understand what’s behind the data. A lower hourly rate is just the reflection of other policies and procedures that we’ve got in place. We need to start asking ourselves hard questions, such as how open we are to the idea of a part-time worker, how flexible the working hours we offer are or how we’re supporting our employees in acquiring new skills and adapting to the ever-changing world.
Then, you may want to take a good look at your own environment.
If you’re a business owner or a manager, check the salaries of your team members and make sure there are no discrepancies. Again, look wider and think who’s usually volunteering for new assignments or who’s preparing for a promotion. If you’ve got a fair ratio, well done. If not - think how you could support the change to get a more balanced proportion.
If you’re curious how the company you work for is doing in terms of equality - we encourage you to check out this fantastic tool.
It may be a real eye-opener for you.
We also recommend reading the guidance on closing the gender pay gap from gov.uk.
As we know, the gender pay gap is a really complicated challenge and it will take long time to overcome it. With increased awareness and joint effort we can make a difference. Check your data regularly and evaluate/review the procedures you have in place to make sure you’re supporting the progress.
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