Bridging The Pay Gap: A Journey Towards Gender Parity

Discussions around equality in the workplace are nothing new. Since the advent of the gender pay gap reporting regime in 2017 – in which companies with over 250 employees are required to report their yearly salary statistics – the headlines continue to be dominated by debates around inequality in the workplace and what large organisations need to do to bridge the gap between the salaries of men and women.

But, despite the best efforts of HR professionals and various lobbyist groups campaigning for change, the latest round of reports have shown that the gap is now wider than ever. The reports, published in April 2019, found that 77.8% of the UK’s largest companies pay men significantly more than their female counterparts.

There are many societal factors that may contribute to the current gap that exists in gender pay. For example, for many years, young girls and women have been steered away from leadership positions and have been encouraged to embark upon lower-level career paths.

In addition to these societal norms, after having children, women are also more likely to take on the majority of childcare responsibilities and are therefore more likely to op for lower-paid, part-time positions.

Organisations can counteract this by reviewing their working policies to better suit female employees. By offering flexible and part-time working hours, you will encourage more women to apply for higher-level positions.

Things like mentors, sponsorship and networking programmes - where insightful information and career advice is shared – not only educate but also empower women to apply for senior roles and give them the confidence to be able to negotiate a suitable salary. 

Furthermore, when it comes to salary employers should act with complete transparency. By clearly communicating the salary range that’s on offer from the beginning of the application process, applicants know what they can reasonably expect from their role. There should also be honest discussions about progression, and the criteria for promotion so women can confidentially work towards career development – which will in turn result in an engaged and motivated employee.

The issue of gender pay has a long road ahead, but, as we strive towards an equal playing field in the workplace, closing the gender pay gap is vital. It is crucial for organisations to foster the importance of gender pay reporting as a cultural-wide initiative, rather than just a tick-box compliance issue.

Companies must pledge to bridge the gap between salaries, driving change at a cultural level. And while implementing change can be a daunting prospect, Avencia is here to assist you through the process. You can learn more about what we do and how we do it by calling us on +44 (0)203 861 9360, or emailing us at hello@avenciaconsulting.com