Don’t Fear The Gender Pay Gap – Communicate!

The Financial Times staff are meeting to discuss a strike as a result of gender pay gap data coming to light within the company. Women (and men) at the Financial Times want to hear that their company cares about the issues that are revealed by pay gap regulations but is this what’s being communicated?

Lack of clear plans to close the gap and a stunted narrative around its causes have left staff feeling “a lot of anger” , as Steve Bird, of the FT’s National Union of Journalists noted “recent corporate statements seem more concerned about the commercial implications of gender bias than bringing women’s salaries into line with those of male counterparts.”

This can and should be avoided, says the CEO of Gender Pay Gap Analysis provider Gapsquare, if we have “solid plans to narrow the gap and a good level of communication with employees”. Gapsquare makes gender pay gap analysis simple, providing extensive analysis and clear visual representations of its data analysis, and in doing so supports companies in communicating the narrative around gender pay gap data.

Unfortunately, there are still some serious misunderstandings around the gender pay gap, and lack of realisation as to the benefits of closing it. The choices are simple, understand your gender pay gap and make it make sense for your employees, or risk a lot of confusion when you release your data. Losing a member of staff can cost you around £30,614 per employee, the cost of good communication and exemplary data analysis is significantly less. 

Remarkably, the gender pay regulations due to be reported by all companies with over 250 staff by next April have revealed equal pay issues but we must not lose sight of the fact that the gender pay gap is a different animal altogether from equal pay. Sian Webb, Partnerships Manager at Gapsquare explains this further in her article Equal Pay vs. the Gender Pay Gap: What’s It All About?:

With the Gender Pay Gap we do not have to compare ‘like for like’. That would be an equal pay issue – equal pay has been a legal requirement since the 1970 Equal Pay Act. If a male colleague has the same job title, same pay grade, same experience but earns more than the female counterpart, then there could in fact be an Equal Pay claim and legal advice should be sought. “

“The gender pay gap reporting requirements, though they cover ground that can reveal Equal Pay issues, are not about equal pay.” She adds. “They compare the overall company male average pay to the female average pay and therefore, gender pay gap data is more likely to reflect the clustering of women in low paid, part time roles, occupational segregation and general lack of women in leadership roles.”

It’s surprising to see resistance in tackling the gender pay gap. Though it can be difficult uncovering areas where we must improve how we work, when we see the returns that closing the gap can create, we have to admit that we’re better up being pay gap savvy. Unfortunately, few understand why the changes might be beneficial to a company. There are three key benefits, listed below, along with an army of other opportunities:

A. Improved chances of recruitment

A recent survey by HAYS stated that 62% of job seekers looking for employment care about equality and diversity. Companies that show that they are doing something about tackling their gender pay gap is attractive for hiring the best talent.

B. A positive company culture will support retention

Companies invest in staff. Creating a company culture that values their employees, by offering rewards and incentives that retain not just women, but men too, like flexible working, childcare facilities and mentoring schemes is beneficial in the long run, as the longer a talented employee stays in a company, the better their value.

C. There are proved financial benefits to gender diversity

The Financial Times are victims not of the gender pay gap itself, but of not making accessible the nature of its gap or a willingness to use that understanding to improve opportunities and treatment of those it employs. Taking steps towards high quality data analysis, visually represented and therefore understood with ease is the only way to make sure that we are all prepared for the release of our pay gap data. Know your data, communicate and develop a clear strategy for change. Do so for the respect and support of your employees, and for the positive impact it will have on your business.

Gapsquare, the UK’s leading provider of gender pay gap analysis. Gapsquare’s all female team of data analysts use the latest cloud based technology to make pay gap analysis simple.

Find us on Twitter @Gapsquare

To learn more about Gapsquare’s Data Analysis Package contact Zara Nanu zara.nanu@gapsquare.com, or 44 (0) 117 230 0066.

 

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Don’t Fear The Gender Pay Gap – Communicate!

Lessons Learnt? Understanding data and changing culture at the BBC

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Thoughts from a gender pay gap data scientist

@gapsquare

The last five days must have been somewhat of a headache for Tony Hall, BBC Director-General. First, the damning list of salaries that showed that lack of female high earners and gender pay disparity, followed by some of the BBC’s most high-profile female personalities writing a frank open letter calling him to “act now” to tackle the gender pay gap, rather than waiting until 2020 for it to be eliminated. It has certainly made headline news and spread to extensive conversations from within the BBC, the general workplace, to the pub with friends on the weekend.

My inner cynicism shows an element of lack of surprise to the figures. Women have continuously been under-represented at the BBC, with Black, Asian, Minority and Ethnic women, older women, transwomen, disabled women and LGBTQ women even further under-represented. Experience within gender pay gap data analysis unfortunately has informed me that under-representation tends to go hand in hand with pay disparity too.

The public appears to be shocked, as the BBC have a reputation to lead the way and represent the nation as to our values and principles. Yet, as a nation, we are plagued with gender inequality in the workplace, from harassment and abuse (E.G. the Saville era), to sexism and misogyny. A day doesn’t go by without word of a male colleagues’ inappropriate comments about a female member of staff reaching my ears, examples of everyday sexism, our female CEO being asked to “clear away the cups” by a nonchalant businessman in our business lounge or instances when friends are overlooked for a promotion and miss out on pay rises after returning from maternity. As a nation, we are far from gender equality and the news coming out of the BBC in the last few days appears to mirror what we as women experience across the country.

However, this media-storm is a great opportunity to learn some valuable lessons and move toward greater equality in the workplace. Tony Hall is right in saying that “we need to do more to close the gender pay gap.” The BBC itself has a pay gap of 10%, so yes, more needs to be done.

As a pay gap data scientist, working with HR and payroll data across a number of organisations in the UK, I am seeing daily data on the issues that are actually causing the gender pay gap. I work for Gapsquare, a tech start-up that has created a piece of self-use software that allows companies to go into in-depth analysis of their gender pay gap. The tool looks beyond the mere reporting figures and delves deeper so we can see, using actual data, if occupational segregation, the glass ceiling or the motherhood penalty actually are factors that create, perpetuate and exacerbate the gender pay gap. Using data, companies can build data-driven action plans to genuinely tackle the gap, and using artificial intelligence, put in place measures that will genuinely reduce the gap, which, the majority of the time, all involve an actual culture change.

Tony Hall says that he is “committed to closing the gap by 2020” – my experience looking at other companies’ data is that if we genuinely want to achieve this, we need to look beyond the reporting figures. Hall needs to look into the big data of the BBC, analyse by department, by job level, by ethnicity, by age and how this impacts the company culture. Only then will he actually be able to stand up and say that closing the gap by 2020 is achievable. When the BBC reports before next April, I am expecting to see more than just the figures needed for government compliance. I am expecting a full and comprehensive analysis of pay and inequality at the BBC and using this analysis, achievable targets to measure and track change.

If Tony Hall truly wants the BBC to be regarded as “an exemplar on gender and diversity” and accelerate change, he needs to use big data, and accept that the BBC needs to change a lot in the coming months and years. And quickly if he wants to meet his 2020 target.

Lessons Learnt? Understanding data and changing culture at the BBC

Closing the Gender Pay Gap: How your business can reap the benefits

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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.

Closing the Gender Pay Gap: How your business can reap the benefits

EQUAL PAY VS THE GENDER PAY GAP: WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT?

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New regulations came into force this April that require companies with over 250 employees to report on their gender pay gap. But what does this mean?

People,  says Sian Webb at Gapsquare, are quick to confuse equal pay with the gender pay gap.

“I was recently sat in a pub with some friends and they said that they were looking forward to finding out if their male colleague with the same job title and same experience was being more than them. I was also recently sat in a meeting with a large technology company and their Financial Director stated that the regulations were “ridiculous” as they are not comparing “like for like”.

That’s because we do not have to compare “like for like”. That would be an equal pay issue – something that is a legal requirement since the 1970 Equal Pay Act. If a male colleague has the same job title, same pay grade, same experience but earns more than the female counterpart, then there could in fact be an Equal Pay claim and legal advice should be sought.

The gender pay gap reporting requirements however, are not to do with Equal Pay. They compare the overall company male average pay to the female average pay and are more likely to reflect the clustering of women in low paid, part time roles, occupational segregation as there are less women in roles that pay more, and general lack of women in leadership roles.

Read the rest of this article here.

 

EQUAL PAY VS THE GENDER PAY GAP: WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT?

The Snap General Election and the Gender Pay Gap – Reflections by Sian Webb, Gapsquare

“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

Read the rest of this article on the Equality and Diversity Website 

The Snap General Election and the Gender Pay Gap – Reflections by Sian Webb, Gapsquare

Gapsquare – Insights from the STEM Gender equality Congress, Berlin

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.

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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.

 

Gapsquare – Insights from the STEM Gender equality Congress, Berlin

#hackthepaygap – call for partners

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.

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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 zara.nanu@gapsquare.com, or 44 (0) 117 230 0066.

Article by Zara Nanu,  follow her on LinkedIn
Zara Nanu
#hackthepaygap – call for partners