Why the 2017 gender pay regulations are a business opportunity

by Hazel Lush, Research Assistant at Gradient DM/Gapsquare

aaeaaqaaaaaaaailaaaajgfhytmyywu0lwu5njutngixoc1iyzzklwy3ymfhndyzmdhizgYou were calmly going about your business as 2016 came to an end when suddenly gender pay gap regulations began colonising your news feed and slipping into your HR consciousness, requiring, nay, demanding attention. You’d be forgiven for sighing, as Christmas party hats go on and delegating it to annoyance for early ’17.

Well, your new year optimist doesn’t have to dissipate, because the gender pay gap regulations are, in fact, fantastic news. If you are an employer who is passionate about the rights and potential of its employees, who is always looking for ways to improve and reflect on how your team works, this is a great chance to get ahead of the game; it’s a challenge, and it’s an opportunity to develop how you look at your employment data. Here are three examples of how gender pay gap regulations should drive you to get your company centuries ahead in how it manages diversity.

Employ the best, retain the best, and create trust if the best is what you’ve already got 

One of the consequences of these regulations is that potential and current employees will look at the gender pay gap data for your business to see how fairly staff are managed. If you’re on the ball, this could be a great opportunity to show how you react to any revelations about gender pay or bonus gaps. And your team, whether already driving crucial projects for you, or just stepping up to get involved in your work, will appreciate the effort to make a change. How quickly and how well you react to the Government’s Gender Pay Regulations, could represent an example of how you engage with opportunities to be a fairer employer. As the report “Gender Pay Gap: What Employees Really Think” tells us:

“92% of respondents would use this information (pay gap data) if they were looking for a job and trying to decide between two employers… Two thirds of participants reported that they would ask their employer what they are doing to close the pay gap” [i]

If potential and current employees see a company that’s forward thinking and making steps towards fairness, they will have an understanding of how you do business in general. I don’t know about you, but I prefer to work somewhere that is always a step ahead in its work, as well as in how it treats its workers.

Giving the economy a boost and taking your business with it

As the Women’s Business Council put it in their report Maximising women’s contribution to future economic growth: “Equalising women’s productivity and employment to that of men’s levels has the potential for increased gross domestic product of 35% in the UK”[ii]. Women, if given the opportunity, could ‘clear the national debt’ through their increased economic contribution, and, at the same time, give your company the extra drive it needs:

“Companies in the top quartile of gender diversity at a leadership position are 15% more likely to have financial returns that were above their national industry median”. [iii]

Getting past the inevitable gender pay gap, and getting centuries ahead of the gender pay imbalance, definitely does not have to be a only an act of care and consideration for your team. It can be justified in terms of the success of your business, and the success of the economy your business relies upon.

Build your brand

Social responsibility is crucial to a company’s reputation. People love to know that your company and your brand is ethical, fair and worth investing in. I’m sure we don’t need to talk for long about the impact to reputation of companies who don’t treat their employees with fairness. And the potential is there for legal battles and tribunals. But there is also an opportunity to gain respect and trust.

“Any negative publicity stemming from gender pay gap reporting may have a significant impact on an employer’s reputation and proactive employers therefore have an opportunity to investigate and improve any gender pay gaps now, before disclosure is required and in turn reduce any legal and commercial risks.” [iv]

We are presented with an opportunity to show our true colours in the business world, building a brand name that soars high above the rest in managing diversity and is at the forefront of social progress has never been more important.

What next?

As we step out into first few, optimistic January days leading us and our business into 2017, in a world that presents a diverse range of challenges for equality and fairness, it’s time to step up. Get engaged with gender pay gap regulations and welcome them as an opportunity to be the best. The good news is, it’s easy enough to get started.

Getting support

Gapsquare, a game-changing, innovative company, whose sole focus is to look at how data can be used to drive diversity and fair treatment have emerged to make your analysis easy. Lead by a dedicated and passionate team, Gapsquare turns gender pay gap information into concise suggestions for the future development of your company. Gapsquare allow you to visualise important gender pay gap insights by analysing your data for you, and they do so for free. The more advanced, paid package gives you time with our experts to look into immediate and long term solutions to diversity management issues. Working with specialised teams such as this is a key way to turn your gap quandary into a decisive step toward a future of socially conscious, people-driven business and a more optimistic 2017.

[i] http://gender.bitc.org.uk/sites/default/files/bitc_the_gender_pay_gap_-_what_employees_really_think_-_sept_2015.pdf

[ii]https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/456420/DfE_WBC_Two_years_on_report_update_AW_CC.pdf

[iii] http://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/organization/our-insights/why-diversity-matters

[iv] http://www.prettys.co.uk/businesses-warned-to-consider-the-implications-of-gender-pay-gap-reporting


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Why the 2017 gender pay regulations are a business opportunity

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