People will make or break a business. More diverse people will go even further and make a business innovative, challenging and perhaps even more importantly, profitable. On average, a business with diverse teams will have access to increased market share and 9% higher EBIT.
But how can we build more diverse businesses when current data shows companies have high gender and ethnicity gaps? These manifest themselves both in low proportions of diverse employees as well as high pay disparities for these groups. It does not seem businesses are making the most of powering growth with the right people.
"217 Years, for the women you work with to be operating on a level playing field, for our daughters to be in with the same chance at success as our sons."
Want to learn more about the gender pay gap? Watch the Invest In Diversity Video Series below.
Currently in the UK the average gender pay gap (when comparing the average man with the average woman) is at about 18%. Globally the figure is at 59%. The World Economic Forum estimates it will be 217 years before the gender pay gap is closed.
217 Years, for the women you work with to be operating on a level playing field, for our daughters to be in with the same chance at success as our sons.
In the world of rapidly advancing tech and AI, this is pretty shocking. Let’s take a look at some other figures. For example, by 2030 the World Economic Forum predicts that we will no longer be shopping in the same way we do today and all products will be borrowed for use when needed, rather than used once and thrown away.
"Transformations in how we shop, the end of hospitals as we know them, self-driving cars and new planets and we will still be 200 years away from closing the gender pay gap."
Or we could look at the fact that by 2030 the World Economic Forum says that hospitals as we know them will be on their way out, with self-driving cars decreasing the number of accidents and leaps being made in preventive and personalised medicine that will be automated and happening at home.
By 2030 we'll be ready to move humans toward the Red Planet, while science will help us to answer big questions about life on earth, as well as opening up practical applications for space technology.
By 2030 we will experience transformations in how we shop, the end of hospitals as we know them, self-driving cars and new planets and we will still be 200 years away from closing the gender pay gap.
My question is, how can we leverage the technologies that are making our lives better, to foster equality at work? It's time to drive all of this growth and innovation forward with diverse teams and ideas, and there are people out there working to make this happen.
Over the past year we’ve used Gapsquare to help over 150 organisations worldwide look at their data and understand how they can accelerate progress. These range from larger organisations like the London Metropolitan Police to a slightly smaller country offices of large International Organisations.
Aggregated data from all of these organisations are already showing high level trends that can help narrow the gap faster. Below are three key trends we have seen in data that will help accelerate equality faster.
Flexible working can narrow the gender pay gap
Flexible working – a no brainer. Given our access to technology and communication, many jobs can and are being done remotely and flexibly. At the same time, our data shows that less than 10% of jobs are flexible. Moreover, when looking at pay data, the flexible roles are often paid less. The higher up the hierarchy you go, the less flexible the jobs become. In fact, high paid jobs move into very rigid working patterns with significant overtime.
New approaches to recruitment and promotion can narrow the gender pay gap
The way we promote and recruit people is outdated. When I was looking for my first job 20 years ago, I used a CV to apply for jobs, sometimes meeting people face-to-face to discuss work that no longer exists today. The world has shifted towards more project-based roles, and people now change career several times in their lifetime. And yet we continue to recruit using a document that shares previous experience rather than future potential. A CV, in fact, is very biased towards facilitating the employment and promotion of the same people as always. In, sometimes, a world where the jobs that these people were doing ten years ago, no longer exists.
We now have roles that have only appeared in the last decade, we are moving towards more automation and recruitment and promotion need to catch up. There are many tools out there that help with this, Applied being one of our favourites, a software we use at Gapsquare to recruit our very talented team in a way that is unbiased and future-orientated.
Addressing occupational segregation can narrow the gender pay gap
Occupational segregation is the way the distribution of workers happens across different jobs based on their genders. When we think of a nurse we automatically assume it’s a woman because we think of nursing as a female dominated role. Similarly we think of construction as a male dominated role.
The reason occupational segregation has an impact on the gender pay gap is that male dominated roles pay more per hour than female dominated roles. At the same time, there is no reason why the roles are segregated by gender.
"At the end of our conversation, the seven year olds stated that perhaps the best way to decide who gets paid more is through wrestling. Though probably not the worst idea we have heard so far, I will refrain from making this an example of good practice."
I recently did a talk with a group of seven year olds at a primary school in Bristol about the gender pay gap. It was terrifying, but they were a very clever bunch. They immediately invoked occupational segregation as one of the reasons for the gender pay gap. Josh looked up at me from the carpet, his face alight with 'knowing the answer' and said: “Women are not allowed to work in construction because a brick could fall on their head and hurt them”. As sweet and innocent as that comment seemed, it highlights how ingrained our thinking is about occupational segregation and how the younger generation, who will be joining the ever-changing workforce in 2030 is geared up for a future accompanied by the gender pay gap.
At the end of our conversation, the seven year olds shared that perhaps the best way to decide who gets paid more is through wrestling. Though probably not the worst idea we have heard so far, I will refrain from making this an example of good practice.
What we have seen over the past two years is that closing the gender pay gap faster than the estimated 217 years is possible. We have learnt that embedding data-driven changes, normalising flexible working across the board, smashing occupational segregation and using newer and more innovative methods of recruitment and promotion can change the world of work around us.
So, here's my proposal, before we relax into our self-driven cars, comforted by the fact that our health-care needs are happily automated, watching people whizz off to Mars with ease, let's take a moment to turn tech toward helping the people we are building them for, as diverse and remarkable as they are. Join us in building fairer workplaces by tackling pay and ethnicity gaps. If we work together we can measure, understand and end inequality.
Need support? The team at Gapsquare can help. For more information click the link above or get in contact:
To learn more about Gapsquare’s Data Analysis Package contact Dr Zara Nanu firstname.lastname@example.org, or 44 (0) 117 230 0066.
Check out www.gapsquare.com
Gapsquare, the UK’s leading provider of gender pay gap analysis. Gapsquare’s team of data analysts use the latest cloud based technology to make pay gap analysis simple.