By Sian Webb – Partnerships Manager at Gapsquare
At Gapsquare, we use technology to find out and explain what causes your gender pay gap. There is never one clear cut reason about why a company has a gender pay gap, and is usually caused by several factors, which can essentially be categorised into five causes.
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Insights from Manchester by Sian Webb – Partnerships Manager at Gapsquare
I had the pleasure of attending a joint event with PwC and the Government Equalities Office in Manchester on Tuesday 17 July. It was an interesting event because we heard from the GEO and two early pay gap reporters – PricewaterhouseCoopers and the first public sector organisation to report, Doncaster City Council.
PricewaterhouseCoopers discussed the complexities involved in processing data collection, number crunching, reporting and importantly, communicating your message. PwC has a long history of reporting on their gender pay gap, and so this was not a new task for them to complete, however, they expressed the importance of communicating your message carefully and transparently with your staff, especially when media outlets can be sensationalist. It then becomes critical to ensure that your staff understand the numbers that are being projected, the narrative behind them, and consequently, what actions you are taking moving forward to reduce your gap.
Doncaster Council has only just reported their figures and discussed two key areas – the difficulties and length of time it takes to get to the point where you need to report and then the importance of understanding what your data tells you about your organisation. Doncaster Council has numerous different and complex pay structures and even after having to pull and cleanse their data, they have had to run their calculations through about five times! Learning from Doncaster Council, gender pay gap reporting has not been an easy and fluid process for them.
Three interesting questions emerged in the Q&A session following the two presentations:
- What was the rational for excluding partners?
The Government Equalities Office recognise that there are many different complex pay structures in different companies, and trying to find a way of including partners who often don’t take salaries would be too challenging for some employers. Whilst it was acknowledged that often, partners salaries are the ones in the higher paid positions and gives a fairer reflection of the gender pay gap, there is hope that there would still be some transparency over revealing partner salaries amongst large companies. Watching how large companies report their gender pay gap and whether they include partner info will be interesting in the coming months. At Gapsquare, we recommend running your data through our tool both with and without partners, to look at how your numbers compare and so that you can take clear, demonstrable action to tackle the gender pay gap across your company, and encourage more women to become partners.
- How do you make metrics matter?
Around the room, it was acknowledged that it wasn’t about the numbers, but about making them matter. Doncaster Council had gone beyond just the numbers, and analysed by pay grades to allow them to understand what makes up their gender pay gap and what they can do to reduce it. They also acknowledged that this takes time.
The great news is that this is where Gapsquare comes in – we take your data and get instant insights on more than just compliance – we analyse by department, job level, education, location as well as ethnicity, meaning that you can spend time tackling the difficult bit – working out what you need to do to reduce your pay gap.
- What will the Government Equalities Office do in terms of verifying our data is correct?
There seems to be a lot of concern and worry that companies may make mistakes – what happens if we make a mistake with the formula? What if we exclude or include the wrong elements of pay or employees?
Luckily, Gapsquare can help with this too! We have a free tool that allows companies to upload their data and run their numbers through to see if their mean and median pay gap numbers are correct! This allows for some comfort and peace of mind.
Check out our free tool at www.gapsquare.com today.
“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.”
“Equality and diversity has ignited both the public and politicians alike, with women’s rights being at the forefront of activism, 2018 being the centenary of women’s suffrage and three formidable political leaders Sturgeon, Davidson and May seen as reaching the tipping point for equal gendered representation in politics. A McKinsey report published in 2015 stated that gender diverse companies are 15% more likely to outperform than their competitors, and ethnically diverse companies are 35% more likely to outperform, and so it is critical to understand what the political parties say about tackling equality and diversity within business.”
Article by Sian Webb – Partnerships Manager @Gapsquare with Equality and Diversity
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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.
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.
“In my book, the gender pay gap should be counted only looking at men and women doing the same role”
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?