Closing the gender pay gap

Last year, we reported on the minimal progress that had been made in closing the gender pay gap. Although slow, it was still a step towards balancing the scales.

Although the number of women in senior leadership positions is growing, most sectors still show a lack of parity with women under-represented at every level.

gender pay gap

Why is change so slow?

In order to tackle the Gender Pay Gap, organisations need to make changes early on in the career pipeline. The fact of the matter is that there are many industries that historically have male-orientated policies and processes and are still to implement the strategies needed to attract and retain female talent. This creates a negative perception for young women who face a shortage of relatable role models with the workplace.

Closing the pay gap aims to stop this from being the case- providing everyone with the opportunity to apply themselves to reach any role without any suggestion of bias.

The less discussed consequences of closing the gender pay gap are the financial benefits of creating and cultivating an inclusive culture within a business.

The research is unequivocal – Hiring from a diverse group of individuals has proven itself to be not just ‘the right thing to do’, but financially beneficial too. Businesses can reap the rewards of a much wider selection of opinions and ideas that can improve sales, profitability and employee satisfaction. With all these in place, it becomes easier for a business to grow alongside its employees by forging pathways to success for everybody, not just a select few.

So why isn’t this happening faster? 2019 figures show that approximately 78% of UK businesses still have a Gender Pay Gap in favour of men with the same barriers to high-level positions still in place.

If the kind of statistics on display for the current state of the gender pay gap were applied to other areas, such as health and safety- then businesses wouldn’t think twice about taking action on a plan to solve these issues.

The real issue is the perception of the gender pay gap as a problem that can be solved through short term, initiative driven activity that almost always addresses the symptoms rather than the root causes. The starting point is understanding the barriers that are embedded in day to day operations that put off or drive out diverse talent. Employment and recruitment policies, processes, culture and behaviours all need to be analysed for adverse impact.

Invest in insight and ask the difficult questions, the answers will provide a holistic view of your position and ultimately, a fundamental culture change is the right kind of disruption businesses should be aiming for. Effective D&I is synonymous with higher profitability and better talent retention and these are the key indicators that can be measured effectively

Creating a plan that caters to long-term change isn’t a simple task.

To make a success out of a new programme, you need to take stock of where you are at this moment- not just data and numbers. Take a comprehensive view that engages your business’ male and female stakeholders. Reviewing your current gender pay gap will become your first step to beating the competition.

Remember to consult experts to get the right advice and strategy in place. For more information, get in touch.

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