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On the 10th November 2018, due to the current gender pay gap, women will effectively stop earning relative to men for the year. This day is referred to as Equal Pay Day and the date varies according to the actual pay gap each year.
In order to tackle the problem, from 6th April 2017, the government made it mandatory for all organisations with 250 employees or more to publish their gender pay gap and the actions they are taking to tackle the issue. The idea behind the reporting is that increased transparency, should, over time, increase fairness and improve gender pay parity.
However, equal pay day has been on the same day for the past 3 years. Will the activity kick started by the gender pay gap reporting requirements change this date?
It has been apparent from looking into organisations pay reporting that many businesses believe that their pay gap is due to there being a gender imbalance in senior positions, and that the solution is to recruit more women into these positions.
Conversely, research has emphasised that it is a much more complex situation than simply evening out senior leadership positions.
Sodexo, a global facilities management company conducted a 5-year gender balance study. The results highlighted that a gender balance mix of between 40-60%, in all quartiles of the organisation, can lead to 8% higher operating margin.
For many organisations, in order to achieve this, they will need to implement change to their company culture, to ensure fair representation of women, and to help tackle the gender pay gap.
Speaking to several of our members who are in this process of change. They have found that initiatives such as introducing agile working, providing unconscious bias and inclusive leadership training, utilising blind recruitment, offering mentoring and sponsorship programmes, and reviewing and changing the company’s policies and procedures, such as family friendly policies, have been extremely useful. However, recognise more still needs to be done.
For example, PWC recognise that the gender pay gap is complex, and will be a process, which is why they have come up with their 5-point plan. They aim to tackle their gender pay gap by ensuring that their organisational culture is inclusive throughout. This is done by promoting senior level accountability, providing fair work allocation, investing in returnships, new recruitment tools, and progression coaches.
It is vital that companies understand that in order to tackle the gender pay gap, and to make sure that equal pay day starts to decrease in the coming years, that there needs to be a shift in organisational culture. By developing a strategy to help create an inclusive culture, in time, we should start to see equal pay day decreasing. To find out more about how you can implement change and help move equal pay day from 10th November to 31st December contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.