Smarter organisations are focusing on the much wider, long-term goal of diversity & inclusion in their gender pay reporting”, says Katherine Murray, Consultant at Total Reward Group, a Gallagher company.

It’s probably safe to say that most organisations will have found it hard to move the dial on their gender pay gap statistics reported last year. The gap may even be wider this year.

Most companies – the smarter ones - knew they couldn’t magic change for the better. But this has never been about overnight transformation. It’s about identifying the problem, articulating the solution, then taking a long-term view.

Whether your metrics have improved or not, you need to get them ready for publication prior to the reporting deadline of 4 April 2019.

93% of employers are taking action to improve gender diversity & reduce the gender pay gap.

Source: CBI/Pertemps Employment Trends Survey 2018

Ensure narratives tie up

And, as last year, they should be supported with a watertight narrative that’s capable of walking the talk. It needs to build on last year’s story, ultimately answering the question of: how are you going to demonstrate commitment to your gender pay goals? And, if there’s any widening of the pay gap, how are you going to explain this?

For smarter organisations, that narrative will include an overall emphasis on gender pay being part of their wider diversity and inclusion goals. They’re saying, it’s not just about gender, we need to think about all our groups. They’re asking, for example, whether they’ve got a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community in the workplace and, if so, do they feel supported? And in a way that ensures opportunities are there for all to successfully advance their careers.

Unintended consequences

The Financial Services sector has led the way in terms of creating steering committees to help support minority groups within the workplace. In the case of gender pay, these are being used to achieve engagement at executive level to ensure initiatives are delivered.

Other sectors are now following suit, specifically the science, technology, engineering and manufacturing sectors: where women have always been underrepresented.

In some cases, outcomes from these steering committees have led to initiatives where caution is required: for example, tying in metrics around gender “quotas” to bonus arrangements for senior leadership teams. Such practices, if not handled carefully, might be considered positive discrimination.

It’s not just about gender

Gender pay reporting is only the start. Diversity reporting obligations are under constant review, including suggestions that by April 2020 employers with 250 or more staff will need to report on how they’re supporting disability and ethnicity in the workplace. It could pay to get a head start on all of this now.

Want to know more? To find out more, please get in touch with your usual Gallagher representative or call +44 (0) 7738 212 120