So someone asked me last week why companies are not paying compensation to women for the gender pay gap in line with equal pay regulations. Well I hate to be the one to tell you this, but having a gender pay gap does not equate to equal pay issues in most organisations. “Equal pay deals with the pay differences between men and women who carry out the same jobs, similar jobs or work of equal value. It is unlawful to pay people unequally because they are a man or a woman. The gender pay gap on the other hand shows the difference in the average pay between all men and women in a workforce. If a workforce has a particularly high gender pay gap, this can indicate there may a number of issues to deal with, and the individual calculations may help to identify what those issues are.”
As you can see the way in which the gender pay gap is calculated does not take account of work of equal value, similar jobs or even the same job. Its purely formulaic in how its calculated. This does not mean that we cannot glean valuable information from what it shows and use the data to drive change where issues of unfairness or bias are detected. There are many ways in which organisations can work to address their gender pay gap. Things that have gained traction in the last couple of years are:
- Championing blind recruitment campaigns to eradicate or reduce any unconscious or conscious gender biases at the attraction stage of the recruitment campaigns
- Organisations are also offering commitments to recruit more women to senior roles in the organisation or in some cases setting targets to achieve 50/50 split in terms of representation across all layers of the organisation
- Apprenticeship levies are also be utilised to offer more training and opportunities to under represented groups in organisations
- Management training and leadership development programmes are also being developed and aimed and equipping more women for senior roles in organisations
- Flexible working practices are also gaining in momentum and many organisations are looking at ways that they can attract and retain more women into the workforce following periods of maternity leave.
- Championing gender equality and neutrality in HR policies and procedures and ensure where there are practices no matter how ingrained that perpetuate gender bias that these are addressed and stamped out.
If you also do not have a gender equality policy, consider putting one in place and champion this at the most senior level in the organisation.