“The snap general election was mainly focused on Brexit, yet all parties produced manifestos which will pave the way for policy and governance over the next five years.”
Gapsquare’s Dr Zara Nanu joined teams of academics, industry experts, government representatives and policy makers at this year’s annual STEM Gender Equality Congress on the 8th and the 9th June where she spoke on Sharing Best Practice Between Industry and Academia.
Sharing years of accumulated knowledge and experience working with companies in the UK and internationally to close their gender pay gap, Zara debated the issues with representatives of the World Economic Forum , Accenture and EDGE Certified Foundation.
The event brought together experts and key figures who are working together to increase the number of women in Science Technology Engineering and Maths, and support those who do make it into STEM industries to stay there. A series a fascinating talks and panel discussions on how to bring women into STEM ensued.
The congress covered ways to ensure more women enter the sector and that these women are retained. It is widely acknowledged that this is not what happens at present and this plays its own devilish part in making the gender pay gap what it is (though they’re definitely not the only industries with serious issues to overcome).
Gapsquare’s particular interest was in discussing current practice in terms of engaging more women in STEM and also the creative thinking that is needed to bring together more stakeholders to think about how they can attract more women in STEM.
According to Dr. Zara Nanu:
“Obviously occupational segregation and lack of women in STEM is one of the leading causes of its gender pay gap and if we don’t do anything to increase numbers of women in these sectors then in 50 years’ time, with automation and the progress of technology we are going to see an exclusion of women from the economy altogether. ”
This was a hugely engaging congress and Gapsquare looks forward to continuing to work with innovative companies across the UK to share the wealth of knowledge and expertise gained on how we can increase the numbers of women in STEM.
In the week of September 25 – September 29, 2017 Gapsquare is organizing a “Hack the Pay Gap” event. The purpose of the event is to bring together developers, designers, and data scientists across South West to use their skills to help get women and ethnic minorities paid what they deserve.
Using data on Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings from the Office for National Statistics, we would like to engage teams of technologists, data-scientists, designers, and subject-matter experts from across the South West to create new solutions for a very old problem: the gender and ethnicity pay gap.
The World Economic Forum estimates it will take at least 117 years to narrow the gender pay gap. We believe that by using technology and science we can skip a century of inequality. With #hackthepaygap we want to be tackling it with some of the most powerful tools available to us now — big data, interactive visualizations, and virtual reality.
In order to make the event more powerful, we are currently looking for partners. For one week, teams from across the South West will come together to create a diverse range of products aimed at creating tools for companies, women, ethnic minorities and the broader public.
The products can range from new ways of looking at the problem to ways individuals and companies can take action by creating more transparency around salary, gender bias in hiring, and the economic impact of the pay gap.
Gapsquare is looking for partners in the South West who can join this exciting event. To learn more about the event and how you can be involved, please contact Zara Nanu email@example.com, or 44 (0) 117 230 0066.
Brenda from Bristol is not the only cool thing coming out of Bristol this General Election 2017.
Between now and June 8th, Bristol based startup Gapsquare will be scrutinising Party Manifestos and candidate speeches to identify their specific stance on pay transparency. These include policies on gender and ethnicity pay gap.
Besides subjecting Manifestos to analysis, we will be reviewing ways in which different parties’ economic and social policy proposals would impact pay for various minority groups. Based on these insights, we will be developing predictive models to see how the pay gaps could evolve in the next 5 years.
But we can’t do it without you. We’d like to encourage everybody to send us any articles, speeches, references, notes, minutes of meetings, gossip as well as the occasional Wicked Whispers about candidate’s take on pay transparency to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Results will be published in early June 2017.
CEO at Gapsquare – leading provider of gender pay gap analysis
Hear from our CEO Dr Zara Nanu and Partnerships Manager on the revelations that Gender Pay Gap Regulations will create.
“Since the gender pay gap reporting regulations came in at the beginning of April, there has been criticism that the regulations “don’t go far enough”, that they will “backfire” or will not be effective. Some groups have even come out to say that the gender pay gap does not exist and therefore regulations are not needed.”
As an initial point, the regulations can start some key discussions about their gender pay gap within companies. In turn, this will create some questions on its impact on overall gender equality in the workplace.
If we are only looking at men and women doing the same role, and women are being paid less than men, then this is an Equal Pay issue, and grounds for Equal Pay discrimination as per the 1970 Act.
But what the gender pay gap is really about is the beginning of a narrative about workplaces’ practices that undervalue the roles of women both in the public and private sphere. The fact that the gender pay gap exists in companies can open our eyes to how the company is structured and how it supports true equality within the workplace.
This discourse opens the door to many possibilities that begin to paint a picture of some key issues facing women in the workplace today.
According to Lylan Masterman, Principal at White Star Capital bias runs deep for women in tech. Are we tackling the challenges that face women by asking them to hide their identity or does expressing it outwardly work out more beneficial for women?
“the women who are working in technology today know how to triumph over adversity. This is a group that has suffered significant bias in our society — studying computer science or engineering in college, going out into the male-dominated environment of the modern tech world and succeeding despite those biases. And then, many have gone on to start companies in the tech industry despite the well-known challenges there.”
Should women in the industry survive by being overtly or covertly present?
“Technical skills have always been in demand, but Boards need to create a culture, an ecosystem, around digital and digital thinking and this means increasing their functional diversity. If organisations are not disrupting their industries through digital innovation then they will be disrupted – so Boards need to keep pace to survive.”
These are the words of Harvey Nash, in “Diversifying Diversity – the next Board frontier”, who also mentions that those with digital expertise, capable of getting ahead of the game on digital technology, are yet to be effectively included in boards as technology “does not have the history and framework of qualification and knowledge of, say, finance that has been bedded into Boards for centuries”.
At Gapsquare, a tech-based data-analysis company that is working to end the gender pay gap, this is interesting for two reasons:
Harvey Nash notes that whilst the world moves rapidly in terms of digitisation and technology, boards seem to be moving slow. As Nash puts it “Put simply, digital is a relatively new discipline and supply lags behind the market need.” In a digital, technological world, are boards getting out of step with the pace of change? It’s time for us to keep up with developments, and seek out the diverse talents emerging with digitisation. But there is no reason to believe that boards cannot and should not be simultaneously adapting to a more technological and more gender diverse world.
Nash argues that “diversity has become a broader issue than that of gender”, that gender is not the crucial issue for boards anymore; we would argue that progress in all forms, including in an understanding of an ever more technological world, can and should be inclusive of gender diversity. The ability to consider issues from a broad range of perspectives is essential to keeping boards ahead of the game in how a company is run. At present women represented “29 per cent of hires to UK boards last year down from 32.1 per cent in 2014” and only “8% of FTSE directors are non-white”. For us, technological developments are the key solution to these issues and should go hand in had with a greater range of viewpoints in the upper echelons of a business.
Is it possible that the gender pay gap and lack of cultural diversity is another symptom of a world that is not keeping on top of digitisation? A board, for example, behind on digital progress, is not representative of the world around them any more than a non gender or ethnically diverse board would be. We’d argue that if boards think fast in a changing world, they would inevitably include members of more diverse groups and those with a range of experience.
In a digital, technical, global world, are boards several steps behind? It’s time for us to keep up with developments, and seek out the diverse talents of a digital age. Gender-equality and technological awareness don’t have to be mutually exclusive.
Gapsquare, for example, aims to utilise its technological expertise to drive gender diversity in business. Women, minority groups and those from a range of backgrounds, we would argue, should be inherently included more in a fast-paced digital age especially as, right now, it has never been easier to do so.
“Currently amongst CEOs and Chairs of FTSE 100 companies, there are twice as many men called John as there are women. We have been unable to make much progress on this issue because of our subconscious bias and the way we view executive roles and career progression. We have reached an important point when technology can help us reach inclusion at different levels much faster”
Gapsquare CEO Dr. Zara Nanu.