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What Can You Do As An Employer To Address The Gender Pay Gap Issue?

Source: Getty/iStock

By Richard Manso, Founder & Director of Digital Republic Recruitment.

Having now worked in the recruitment sector for 20 years I have seen a lot of changes in how employers recruit and manage their workforces and from an outsider’s point of view how to and how not to do it!

Down the years I have seen employers rise to many challenges including skills shortages related to the increase in competition, technology and changes in working practice and legislation. 

I think, as employers, we now face perhaps the biggest challenge to creating equitable, fair and motivating work environments and this is to do with the gender gap that amazingly is still so prevalent in the modern-day workplace.

As a company, there are many issues you have to deal with these days and I am sure Brexit, GDPR, the competition, your customers and rising costs are never far away from your in tray! However, the gender pay gap is a massive issue to you as an employer because:

  1. This issue potentially relates to over 50% of your employee base and potential workforce. That is a bigger number no matter how you shake it down and any issue which relates to such a big part of your company needs to be taken seriously.
  2. Gender-related pay inequality will actually cost you as employer money in terms of a lack of productivity through demotivated employers, churn, legal challenges from employees and lost customers.

It is becoming harder and harder to employ and keep good people for so many reasons so the last thing you need is a problem that accelerates your challenges as an employer even further.

Source: www.citmagazine.com

So what can you do to address and issue and make it work for your business? Here are some simple and obvious things I am sure you and other companies are doing: 

  • Slice and dice your analysis around employee pay data and get the right people looking at the numbers. As well as finance people and board members get the people who sit in your HR and Personnel Development involved in the process.
  • Work on the diversity of your workforce. The data shows that the companies or sectors who have the biggest gaps in pay tend to have the least amount of women, people of colour or people with disabilities within their employee base. Its easier said than done but this is one of the biggest contributors to success or failure in this area.
  • Get the right people sponsoring related projects and initiatives. So not to state the obvious but get people who really feel personality about this involved in the journey.
  • Do not give yourself lame excuses like well women are on lower pay because they go on maternity. Some of the evidence suggests that maternity leave is actually nothing to do with the difference in pay.
  • Create structures that pick up potential issues. So, as an example, make sure you review how your salaries/ bonuses work regularly and make sure you review this at least annually with your staff.
  • Promote the work you are doing in addressing gender pay gaps and diversity in general. It’s not just about the employees you have now but also about people who are considering you as an employer. Talk about the work you are doing on this in job descriptions you write and on your website.
  • Do your research. There is actually so much literature out there on the topic (a lot more out there than how you might tackle Brexit for example) so devote some time to gain the knowledge on the topic. Set up watchdogs that will send you material on the subject. You can even reach out to companies who are doing well in this area to get advice through their HR or PR departments. I have attached a couple of articles which I hope will make for interesting reading on the challenges and the solutions on the issue. Drop me a line if you want to get some more insight into a gender pay gap!

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