It is an interesting time for equality issues in the USA, aside from the scandal over protests at basketball games, Trump's governance has more than tripled the wage gap in the White House itself, with the President going on to employ his daughter, Ivanka, to end an upcoming policy designed tackle the wage gap from April 2018.It is in this environment that Gapsquare, the UK's leading provider of pay gap analysis proposed a much brighter future: “Let me take you on a journey to ending the gender pay gap in the next 17 years” commenced Gapsquare CEO Zara Nanu at the MIT Solve Challenge finalists' event - a selection of innovators solving global challenges - going on to share her tech-based solution for skipping 100 years of inequality for women in work.
Gapsquare has travelled the globe to share their disruptive technology, a software solution currently helping to close and analyse wage gap for organisations including the UK Metropolitan Police, local councils, Conde Nast Publications, Deckers Brands and the Greater London Authority. Chosen out of over 900 solutions over 4 different programmes from across the world and in front of 350 attendees, including key figures from Apple, UN Women, PepsiCo and the World Economic Forum, Dr Zara Nanu shared just how simple it could be:
“We’ve developed a unique software solution that helps businesses understand the gap, remove myths around it, take data driven decisions to close it.”
Though you may have missed the pitch, you can see what she's talking about by giving Gapsquare a go:
The pitch went on to be voted as the second most popular at the SOLVE MIT Finals.
In a room full of inspiring enterprises, the Bristol-based startup was able to develop powerful partnerships, building connections with companies at the top of their game and driving forward their mission to hack the pay gap.
At the event they were inspired by start ups like Erase All Kittens, a game built to help girls to learn to code and SAATHI who have created biodegradable sanitary products from banana fibres. However, Gapsquare established themselves as the enterprise in the room that was working to motivate those in already powerful positions within the corporate world to change and tackle inequality from the top down, by changing structural inequalities that span across multi-national organisations.
Despite concerns for businesses in the USA that analysing the gap would involve a lot of paper work, ending the gap doesn’t require companies to do more than work cleverly with the information they have. Gapsquare's tool allows companies to simply focus on tackling issues that emerge. Working with big businesses, public sector organisations and legal and HR teams to improve opportunities for the women and men they employ is what Gapsquare does best. Their tools provides three things, in both free and paid-for packages. These are as follows:
1. Data around what the Gender Pay Gap looks like for a company
2. Why gender pay issues are there and the key challenging areas that make up the gap
3. Data driven recommendations on what they can do to close the gap
Perhaps if the USA's enterprises knew it were that simple, concerns about paperwork could be avoided.
So why close the gap?
So what's the big deal? It is a widely acknowledged fact that there are skills shortages in a number of industries. Employers are tackling this problem by looking to be more diverse in their employment practices. The solution, it seems, would be not only more women and minority communities working in companies, but also sustainable careers for those already working.
There is a desperate need to recruit and retain qualified people from a range of backgrounds. Businesses are also up to three times more likely to be profitable if there are more diverse teams running them at all levels. Closing the gap could help companies take vast strides, improving diversity in business, placing them ahead of their competitors. The wage gap is a problem for us all, and solving it would benefit not just individual companies, but the global economy. Understanding and analysing the gap, should be step 1.
Legislation, does it even work?
Despite the indications coming from the Trump household, legislation works. We have seen the huge impact of gender pay gap reporting in the UK since last April, companies are not only engaging with analysing their data, they are making conversations about fairness and equality, and at present, over 80 companies have released their GPG data, and this is number is rising daily.
Gapsquare's success at the Solve MIT finals, in their range of clients across a number of countries, as well as in joining the upcoming Vodafone accelerator programme F Lane in Berlin is testimony of the need for a better understanding of the gap, as well as the need for its rapid disappearance.
With Gapsquare at the beginning of the journey to eliminate the gap, the Solve MIT finals in New York have shown just how viable a future that is fair for all can be, and have spurred on work that could, ultimately, benefit us all.
Want to analyse your company's pay data and work towards a more engaged and diverse workforce? Try Gapsquare's free tool now.