The Financial Times staff are meeting to discuss a strike as a result of gender pay gap data coming to light within the company. Women (and men) at the Financial Times want to hear that their company cares about the issues that are revealed by pay gap regulations but is this what’s being communicated?
Lack of clear plans to close the gap and a stunted narrative around its causes have left staff feeling “a lot of anger” , as Steve Bird, of the FT’s National Union of Journalists noted “recent corporate statements seem more concerned about the commercial implications of gender bias than bringing women’s salaries into line with those of male counterparts.”
This can and should be avoided, says the CEO of Gender Pay Gap Analysis provider Gapsquare, if we have “solid plans to narrow the gap and a good level of communication with employees”. Gapsquare makes gender pay gap analysis simple, providing extensive analysis and clear visual representations of its data analysis, and in doing so supports companies in communicating the narrative around gender pay gap data.
Unfortunately, there are still some serious misunderstandings around the gender pay gap, and lack of realisation as to the benefits of closing it. The choices are simple, understand your gender pay gap and make it make sense for your employees, or risk a lot of confusion when you release your data. Losing a member of staff can cost you around £30,614 per employee, the cost of good communication and exemplary data analysis is significantly less.
Remarkably, the gender pay regulations due to be reported by all companies with over 250 staff by next April have revealed equal pay issues but we must not lose sight of the fact that the gender pay gap is a different animal altogether from equal pay. Sian Webb, Partnerships Manager at Gapsquare explains this further in her article Equal Pay vs. the Gender Pay Gap: What’s It All About?:
“With the Gender Pay Gap we do not have to compare ‘like for like’. That would be an equal pay issue – equal pay has been a legal requirement since the 1970 Equal Pay Act. If a male colleague has the same job title, same pay grade, same experience but earns more than the female counterpart, then there could in fact be an Equal Pay claim and legal advice should be sought. “
“The gender pay gap reporting requirements, though they cover ground that can reveal Equal Pay issues, are not about equal pay.” She adds. “They compare the overall company male average pay to the female average pay and therefore, gender pay gap data is more likely to reflect the clustering of women in low paid or part time roles, occupational segregation and general lack of women in leadership roles.”
It’s surprising to see resistance in tackling the gender pay gap. Though it can be difficult uncovering areas where we must improve how we work, when we see the returns that closing the gap can create, we have to admit that we’re better up being pay gap savvy. Unfortunately, few understand why the changes might be beneficial to a company. There are three key benefits, listed below, along with an army of other opportunities:
A. Improved chances of recruitment
A recent survey by HAYS stated that 62% of job seekers looking for employment care about equality and diversity. Companies that show that they are doing something about tackling their gender pay gap is attractive for hiring the best talent.
B. A positive company culture will support retention
Companies invest in staff. Creating a company culture that values their employees, by offering rewards and incentives that retain not just women, but men too, like flexible working, childcare facilities and mentoring schemes is beneficial in the long run, as the longer a talented employee stays in a company, the better their value.
C. There are proven financial benefits to gender diversity
- A recent McKinsey report, Diversity Matters says that gender diverse companies who place value on equality and diversity are 15% more likely to have financial returns above their respective national industry medians.
- Companies with the highest levels of gender and racial diversity have nearly 15 times more sales revenues than companies with the lowest levels of diversity; in fact, for every 1% increase in gender and racial diversity of sales team, there is up to 9% increase in sales revenues
- Eliminating the gender pay gap would expand the global economy by over 20% – this accounts for 3 trillion in the US alone.
The Financial Times are victims not of the gender pay gap itself, but of not making accessible the nature of its gap or a willingness to use that understanding to improve opportunities and treatment of those it employs. Taking steps towards high quality data analysis, visually represented and therefore understood with ease is the only way to make sure that we are all prepared for the release of our pay gap data. Know your data, communicate and develop a clear strategy for change. Do so for the respect and support of your employees, and for the positive impact it will have on your business.
Gapsquare, the UK’s leading provider of gender pay gap analysis. Gapsquare’s all female team of data analysts use the latest cloud based technology to make pay gap analysis simple.
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To learn more about Gapsquare’s Data Analysis Package contact Zara Nanu @gapsquare.com, or 44 (0) 117 230 0066.
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