Many organisations I speak with fear the gender pay gap reporting deadline. They are keeping their figures back anxiously and hope to get lost in the crowd at the end of March and beginning of April. What will the media make of the numbers? What if their figures are worse than those of others in the sector? How will it impact the brand? And, perhaps most importantly, how will employees respond and how will that impact engagement and salary costs?
In fact, though, we have already seen how to do it well.
Tips on how to communicate the Gender Pay Gap
Of course it’s not easy, as it is a delicate issue. Pay is closely related to how valued people in your organisation feel. And if you get it wrong the consequences can be disastrous. You just have to look at the BBC to know what I mean. But it can certainly be done. Here are some of the lessons from the organisations that did handle it well.
Have a good narrative about your Gender Pay Gap
When you communicate the gender pay gap, explain what the gap is and how it’s different from equal pay. Explain what is causing the gap. Is it to do with the lack of women in senior roles? Is it to do with the lack of women in traditionally male – and better paid – roles? Is there, in fact, an equal pay issue? What are the reasons behind your pay gap? Is it historical? Is it the lack of graduates in your area of expertise? Also admit openly, what is and isn’t worrying you.
Prepare for difficult questions about your Gender Pay Gap
When you prepare to communicate the gender pay gap in your organisation what can help is to gradually disclose your figures. First show the figures to the senior team. Their questions will help you develop a better narrative. Then show the figures to a small group of employees. You can use them as a sounding board, and improve the narrative once again.
Have an action plan to improve your Gender Pay Gap
How to communicate the gender pay gap well is not just about why it’s there, it’s also about what you will do about it. So you need to make sure you have a plan ready to address the gender pay gap. If you are looking to hire more women in traditionally male roles, then you need to change your recruitment and hiring processes. If you are looking to retain women, it’s useful to start with family friendly policies and/or tackle sexual harassment. If you are looking to move women up to more senior levels, you need to change your culture so it encourages both men and women to move up.
If you are looking for a good plan to increase the percentage of women you hire, or you are looking for an action plan to encourage women to move up, please do get in touch. Or just find out more on line about my Vision, Values and Road map Workshop and Gender Balance consulting.