Creating a diverse culture to reverse the gender pay gap

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[cs_content][cs_section parallax=”false” separator_top_type=”none” separator_top_height=”50px” separator_top_angle_point=”50″ separator_bottom_type=”none” separator_bottom_height=”50px” separator_bottom_angle_point=”50″ style=”margin: 0px;padding: 0px;”][cs_row inner_container=”false” marginless_columns=”false” style=”margin: 0px auto;padding: 0px;”][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/1″ style=”padding: 0px;”][cs_text]As of April 2017, companies who employ more than 250 people have been required to provide data relating to potential gender pay gaps.

Information required relates to the proportion of male and female employees in different pay bands, any gender bonus gaps, and a breakdown of how many women and men get a bonus.

The legislation affects around 9,000 UK companies, who collectively employ more than 15 million people.

The first gender pay gap data is due to be released in April 2018, but with many employers not currently recording complete salary information across roles and gender, and others failing to review salaries to guard against gender discrimination, the results could make interesting reading.

So, what can companies – including those who employ less than 250 staff – do to ensure they are promoting equality in the workplace and ensure they are a company that their industry’s most talented staff, regardless of gender, aspire to work for?

1. Develop a diversity policy and steering group – gender diverse companies tend to become more profitable, more dynamic and make better decisions.
Establishing a steering group to promote diversity within your organisation and help to create your company’s diversity statement will show your commitment to the issue. The steering group should look at different roles and teams in your company and investigate why different people may be on different pay scales or have different development opportunities.

2. Publish a positive action statement on the company website – it’s not only important that you promote diversity internally, make stakeholders, customers and potential employees know that you actively promote diversity throughout the organisation by publishing your action statement on your website and in company reports.

3. Promote the success stories of male and female staff – using your website, internal newsletters or the local media to publish success stories which demonstrate leadership and development of all of your staff will highlight that your company is committed to the career progression of staff whatever their gender.

4. Educate staff with recruitment responsibilities – it is important to create a balance within teams. Whilst it can be tempting to recruit like for like when one of your best employees leaves, this cloning effect does not embrace diversity. Continually recruiting people with the same backgrounds and opinions can stifle progress in a company, so make recruitment decisions based on how applicants meet the criteria for the role through behavioural interviewing or psychometric testing rather than a gut feeling about their abilities and personality.

5. Adopt the Scandinavian method – in the UK women often play a greater role in caring for children and sick or elderly relatives meaning they may work part-time or in lower paid jobs with fewer progression opportunities. This often leads to a significant pay gap arising when they return to work full-time after raising children and find their male counterparts have been promoted ahead of them. Companies who adopt a Scandinavian approach to work-life balance could counteract this. There, life takes priority over work, with all employees enjoying a high degree of flexibility in terms of working hours, home-based working and the buying and selling of additional holidays. This can have a positive effect on productivity and profitability.

6. Reverse the generational effect – women often study less lucrative subjects at school and enter lower-paying professions at the bottom of the career level. Celebrating your high achieving female staff and the flexible working opportunities they benefit from could inspire the next generation of young women to follow their dreams and aim high.

Whilst reporting on the gender pay gap isn’t something many companies need to worry about at present, making positive steps to address attitudes and practices can improve the diversity in your organisation and help you to recruit the most talented people for your vacancies, whether they are male or female.[/cs_text][/cs_column][/cs_row][/cs_section][/cs_content]

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