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

The Digital Age – A Natural Partner to Diversity

“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.

 

The Digital Age – A Natural Partner to Diversity

The Gapsquare Team on Using Data to Eliminate the Gender Pay Gap

The Office of National Statistics puts the national gender pay gap in 2016 at 9.4% for full-time employees, although if you include part-time workers, the pay gap climbs to 18.1%. When you start looking at the breakdown across industries, the differences are even more stark. Construction and building trade supervisors have the highest gap, at a staggering 45%. Financial managers and directors come in second at 36%, even when their workforce has 41% women. This is not to say that other industries have a much smaller, or sometimes negative gender pay gap. In artistic, literary and media occupations, the pay gap is 2.7% with the same composition of the workforce as the finance sector. Hairdressers and barbers are at a negative pay gap of -1.1%, although women account for 90% of the workforce here.

Gapsquare are writing about tackling the Gender Pay Gap in collaboration with Equality & Diversity. Read more at http://bit.ly/2o6LIBz

The Gapsquare Team on Using Data to Eliminate the Gender Pay Gap