58 per cent of respondents in the UK Reward Survey have conducted additional analysis to identify what drivers are behind their figures, ahead of the second reporting deadline.
HR professionals are already looking toward the second reporting deadline of 4 April 2019 (for the private sector) and 30 April 2019 (for the public sector). The figures from the first deadline provoked widespread media scrutiny, revealing a national median gender pay gap of 9.7 per cent.
Change will take time to filter through
Some employers are grappling with the fact that their figures may get worse in the short-term as women-led initiatives will bring them into the industry at junior levels, whilst others may see larger movements driven by changes in how they reward their people or define their rewards. Employers with larger samples for both males and females will see less movement either way (such as those in the Retail, Care and Business Services for Facilities Management sectors).
All employers are hoping to demonstrate the success of plans they have in place to effect long-term change. As the figures are taken from a one-day snapshot of a business’ payroll from the previous April, unless radical change has been implemented in the business, then change will be incremental as policies take their time to come to fruition.
Diversify the talent pipeline
To address the issue of the lack of women in construction, senior management are supporting recruiting practices that could attract women to the industry. Examples include partnering with universities to award scholarships to women in disciplines related to construction such as engineering, architecture and construction management. Other examples include mentorship programs that enable women in leadership positions to support and coach other women in their professional advancement.
The government’s recent report based on proven evidence to help employers reduce the gap recommended including multiple women in shortlists, including skills-based assessments in recruitment, appointing diversity managers and offering sponsorship programmes to diversify the talent pipeline.
Lead with intention
Critical to promoting inclusion and diversity is the tone set by management. Being intentional about diversity and inclusion in the workforce is critical to facilitating long-term equality in the workplace. Opening up the talent pool to younger, more diverse workers of all genders enables the organisation to benefit from different perspectives and approaches – leading to better outcomes as a team. Promoting diversity in the selection of sub-contractors and integrating them into training programmes is also one way employers are tackling the pay gap.
Facilitate a wider culture of openness
Taking a holistic approach to attraction, retention and engagement enables employers to understand employees’ needs relative to inclusion and diversity. Asking for feedback through employee engagement surveys or town halls are effective ways to capture these views and are pivotal in remaining flexible to sustain a culture of inclusion and diversity. This supports employees in feeling like they belong and culturally fit with the organisation whose values are aligned to their own.
Assess the wider landscape
Doing any detailed analysis (such as an Equal Pay Audit) is dictated by senior management. Therefore, whilst some employers have actively looked at supporting women in the workplace, others have arguably been paying it lip service and not tackling the wider question of equality. This resistance may be increasingly difficult given the wider push for equality in organisations and the broader focus on diversity and inclusion. More employers are looking at their internal frameworks and questioning whether they support fairness, particularly given the government consultation on the Ethnicity Pay Gap.
Applying a diversity and inclusion lens to everything you are doing can future-proof your business. By eliminating barriers to progression, you can empower your employees to realise their ambitions and their role in delivering your wider vision.
Once a business case has been established job evaluation can then be used to model various scenarios to help identify what roles, and therefore what skills, will be needed to deliver the business strategy. Appropriate workforce plans can then be developed to ensure the right number of people with the right skills are in the right place at the right time to deliver organisational objectives.
Finally, job evaluation can be used to assess the impact of design choices on factors such as remuneration, benefits and the overall total pay bill.