I took a look through all the gender pay narratives published on the government website as at this morning. As we know, companies with 250+ employees are required to post their reports before April 2018 (end March in public sector).
Surprisingly there were only 113 reports published, considering estimates that around 7,000 companies will need to do this. Although this did increase from 110 in the couple of hours I spent looking at the site, so activity is on-going.
However, around half have taken the opportunity to add in a link to additional narrative. Here are ten that stood out to me as being particularly good:
- Alliance Medical
- St Mungo’s Community Housing Association
- TSB Bank
- Virgin Media
So what was good about these ones? Well, the actual format varied:
- some such as Shoosmiths and Virgin media had nice graphs and visuals, whereas others were simply a succinct formal report
- some broke data down further and ONR is a good example of a comprehensive analysis
- others provided case studies from women to 'make it real'
But they all:
- were clear and succinct
- provided the data and gave insight into underlying causes
- outlined overall objectives or gave more detailed goals (even St Mungo’s shared some of the actions they’ve taken despite not actually having a pay gap)
And the others?
Many left me feeling that this was an opportunity missed. Too many were just links to home pages, lists of internal policies, or a narrative that stated the figures again but in charts and diagrams.
It was disapointing to see how many are confusing gender pay and equal pay.
At best, detailing action plans that focus solely on pay such as job evaluation, pay structures and equal pay audits. At worst, stating "action can not be taken due to limited pay increases budgets" or claiming "no true gender pay gap exists” as equal pay can be demonstrated.
But perhaps even more worrying are those using lack of gender parity in senior roles as a justifiable reason for a pay gap. Completely missing that this is the issue to be addressed.
For example, stating that the gender balance of applicants matches the gender balance of hires therefore a male dominated workforce is inevitable. Or stating that the bonus gap was simply a result of high director bonuses.
Gender pay reporting is a catalyst for change and an opportunity for HR to make a difference. Calculating your figures is just the first step. Once published, they will be open to scrutiny by employees and customers and provide a handy barometer for future talent to judge you by.
This is why getting your accompanying message right is key. Are you missing out?
PS - as I was publishing this blog I noticed that E&Y uploaded their report today. They absolutely deserve a mention for leading the way and disclosing their ethnicity pay gap as well.
At Verditer we make reward more effective. Talk to us if you’d like help with your gender pay narrative and action planning.
Photo ‘Everybody wants to be a star’ by JD Hancock.