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The Gender Pay Gap – Looking Beyond the Headlines

In the season of glad tidings, comfort and joy there is little cheer to be had when it comes to the gender pay gap. Legislation introduced in April this year requiring all organisations in the UK with over 250 employees to report their gender pay gap figures has seen less than 300 employers reporting to date out of a potential 9000 falling under the compliance requirements.

Indications are that many organisations are still adopting a wait and see approach to publishing their figures thinking that safety in numbers will be better.

At GenAnalytics we are looking beyond headline pay gap figures. If you look at the Government’s reporting site you will see a range of organisations reporting overall pay gaps of 10% – 25% whilst some are over 30% and over 50%. Gender Pay Gap Reporting Site

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Some of these organisations are household names, some are not. A vast number of recognised brands and businesses that we interact with daily as customers or as businesses remain silent on their own figures.

Let’s look however at some of the detail behind the figures of some of the organisations that have published – particularly in the pay quartiles which demonstrate the proportion of women at senior levels.

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In two sample organisations that have reported their pay gap data the trends mirror what we suspect. Despite operating in totally different industries women are not making it through to senior roles. This is almost as stark and concerning as the pay gap figures in general. There are many reasons as to why this is the case – culture, lack of flexible working practices at senior levels, recruitment processes, retaining female talent, unconscious bias to name a few. However if we are really serious about closing the gender pay gap we need a monumental shift to get more women into senior roles and keep them there.

That’s what we are focussed on GenAnalytics – understanding the Why of the gender pay gap and using data analytics to understand where the challenges begin and the measures that can be put in place to solve it. Organisations can talk about the aspirations to close gender pay gaps but until we see these percentages really moving then it remains a wish on Santa’s long list….

We can delve further into the analysis and look at the economic disadvantage faced by women in bonus payments.

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Despite women receiving bonuses at a higher rate than men in one sample and a small fraction less in the other their bonus pay is eye-watteringly lower. Quite simply this is because women are paid significantly less than their male counterparts. Just consider for a moment the economic impact that we could achieve if women’s pay and bonus rates were the same as men, the boost to consumer spending and of course the value that these women would feel in their places of work.

These are the real figures behind the gender pay gap and we can’t lose sight of them.

As we move into a new year the spotlight on this will not go away and we hope to continue to work with clients who recognise that closing the gender pay gap is a business imperative, that diversity matters to them and that they are focussed on attracting, retaining and promoting female talent. These actions will close the gender pay gap but importantly they will close the disparity in organisations and support women to achieve their ambitions.

Jane Gotts

Director

GenAnalytics Ltd

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