From the boardroom to the hills of Hollywood, the Gender Pay Gap continues to hit the headlines and is a hot topic of discussion. While the issue has sparked dialogue for a number of years now, the problem still persists across multiple industries. This is made all the more evident by the fact that International Women’s Day has equality at the heart of its campaign and that days like ‘Equal Pay Day’ even need to exist.
The Gender Pay Gap has become such a global point of contention, that it’s forcing governments and employers to sit up and take stock; they’re now being forced to identify where they are falling short, from a transparency and ethical standpoint.
Countries such as the UK, France and Spain have introduced legislation making Gender Pay Gap reporting a requirement for organisations of certain sizes – a step in the right direction. And we are seeing more and more countries follow suit.
However, just because it may not be required by law in every country it does not mean you can’t get ahead of the curve now, highlight the topic in the boardroom as a Payroll or HR professional and introduce measures to make that change.
Let’s take a look at the background to the Gender Pay Gap and why Gender Pay Gap reporting is so vital to addressing the issue.
What is the Gender Pay Gap?
As defined by KPMG, the Gender Pay Gap refers to the difference in the average hourly pay of women compared to men in a particular organisation and is designed to capture the extent to which women are evenly represented across an organisation.
Becoming a global movement
Gender equality as a whole has long been a topic on the global agenda and unfortunately, as highlighted by the United Nations, there is still a way to go to achieve full equality of rights and opportunities between men and women. The Gender Pay Gap and the introduction of Gender Pay Gap reporting is one component of a larger initiative in an attempt to balance the scales.
Gender Pay Gap reporting was first brought in to law in the UK in 2017, requiring companies with 250 employees or more to report on the disparities between the pay of men and women as well as differences in bonus structure. Since then, other countries have brought in similar regulations around Gender Pay Gap reporting and wage transparency including France, Spain and Germany to name a few
Countries across the globe continue to bring such requirements in to law. As reported by SWI, the Federal Council in Sweden will see legislation come in to effect in 2021 and the Employer Report has stated Ireland are currently reviewing a draft Bill so legislation there is also on the way. Organisations in other countries and certain states in the US are beginning to actively report on the Gender Pay Gap although not legally required to do so at the moment – another positive sign for the future.
Why carry out Gender Pay Gap reporting?
Actively carrying out Gender Pay Gap reporting is ultimately the right thing to do. Carrying out analysis via one consolidated global payroll platform gives you complete oversight and allows you to take subsequent action based on the results. Not showing any interest in this area reflects poorly on your organisation and impacts on your employer brand and reputation to current employees and potential new hires.
It gives you a greater insight in to your company as we know Gender Pay Gap reporting shows gender representation across an organisation. Analysis of this data from a reliable single source of truth can highlight where investigation may be required. Is there a lack of women in senior leadership roles? Do more women seem to be in the lower paid jobs? In turn, this allows you to look at the reasons why this may be the case and any action that can be taken to support a greater gender balance.
More women = better business! Making sure there is gender balance across your organisation can ensure gender diversity within teams, providing a more balanced view, which can yield better business results when every angle is covered.
Naturally, where Gender Pay Gap reporting is the law, engaging in such activity ensures you are compliant with local legislation. But as we have already mentioned, the move towards closing the Gender Pay Gap doesn’t have the be required by law in order for you to make a difference.
Finding the gap
Technology has always been a great enabler for change and it can do the same here. If you have a current global payroll provider or are looking at global payroll technology, you should ask questions around their data capture options and their capability to produce Gender Pay Gap reports. As Payroll and HR professionals, supported by the technological capability to create and analyse such reports, you firmly place yourself in the heart of the movement for change and become part of the solution to this ongoing issue.
Actions speak the loudest
Once Gender Pay Gap reporting is implemented, it all comes down to taking action on any findings. You need to look at the organisation as a whole and see what can be done to reduce the gap. Are you in a position to facilitate flexible working arrangements for working mothers? Do women in your organisation steer clear of certain departments, why is that, and how can that be addressed? Or perhaps it’s simply a case that the labour market for certain career types continues to be male dominated – but maybe this provides an opportunity to drive initiatives at a graduate level to support women opting for certain career paths.
If more companies take the initiative to report on the Gender Pay Gap, review this information and actively take steps to rectify the issue, then we may even close the gap on how long it’s estimated before we see gender pay equality as reported by the World Economic Forum – over 200 years!
If you’d like to learn more about the Gender Pay Gap reporting capability of the Immedis platform and where our solution can provide further value to your organisation through its advanced payroll and reporting functionality, get in touch with our knowledgeable team today.