How your corporation can effectively tackle the gender pay gap

by Heat Recruitment

With the reveal of the controversial gender pay gap statistics, soon came anger, rebuttal and a swift movement in business to rectify the problem. Naturally, the majority of corporations believe in equality and fair play and are implementing new practices, as we speak, to reduce their contribution. It’s a slow burner, not as simple as promoting all of the women in your company and raising the female salaries. In fact, it starts with deep rooted prejudices that you may not even be aware of.

It starts with recruitment…

The first cause is the initial step of the hiring process – recruitment. After all, a large foundation of these pay inconsistencies can be nailed down to women not reaching the more senior roles. There are a number of reasons for this, but unconscious bias could be labelled as the top one.

So, how can you knock away the natural biases that are deep rooted in our brains – allowing us to identify certain roles as ‘more masculine’ or in need of a ‘more powerful and confident’ candidate? Blind CVs are a great start, allowing you to hone in on the skills of the candidate rather than their gender-stereotyped attributes. This will allow you to take a systematic approach to hiring the right person for the role.

Of course, if all else fails, you can introduce quotas. Think of it not as a box ticking exercise but rather a new priority for the business. Large corporations such as Nationwide and BBC have adopted this approach and are recording positive results. This can be a good way to equal out your percentages and adopt a trickle-up effect to equal leadership. If you are part of a larger business, hiring a Chief Diversity Officer to oversee this process as a priority could also be very beneficial.

Next you need to personalise your perks package…

Following the gender pay gap results, it was reportedthat almost half (47 per cent) of the submissions outlined ‘caring responsibilities’ and ‘childcare’ as primary causes of the disparity. Naturally women who take time out of employment to have children will spend less time on the career ladder compared to their male counterparts, who may stay at work throughout parenthood.

A cultural shift needs to occur here in business and life to encourage men to also take paternity leave. Not only is this a vital time to bond with your children, but it would equalise the time taken out of employment between both men and women. Offering competitive paternity leave within your company is a great start.

Alternatively, or in addition to, subsidising childcare can be a monumental movement. This will not only take out some of the financial stress put upon parents in the preliminary stages of parenting, but it could encourage them to return to work sooner. Flexible working is also growing in popularity and can allow parents the adaptability they need to balance both work and life. Both of which are easily implemented into your business model.

Now introduce salary brackets…

 When it comes down to it, the main issue here is money. Introducing clear salary brackets for the varying positions in your business is a clear and concise method of setting limits. It has been reported that the majority of women don’t or are less effective at salary negotiation than males – for fear of overstepping the boundaries. Introducing a clear list of salaries on offer will not only avoid any office confrontations between salary-discussers, but it will instil candidates with more confidence when asking for a raise.

This new level of transparency is reassuring too. It’s a less drastic method than making salaries public – as social media scheduling site, Buffer did in 2013. It’s already illegal to pay men more than women for an equivalent job, so what is the harm in introducing a bit more structure to the payment process?

It doesn’t just stop at equal pay…

You may be one of those businesses that have a fifty-fifty split of men and women and you might not be receiving any complaints about levels of pay. However, diversity doesn’t just stop at men and women. In fact, to fully tackle pay gaps in your corporation, why not take a look at the ethnicity pay gap – you may receive quite a shock.

Investment into diversity and culture training should be a key consideration for organisations wanting to embrace and welcome a diverse workforce – whilst yielding strong business benefits. Tackling unconscious bias will be key to improving relationships in your team and improving the longevity of your staff, as they correlate more and more with your culture and principles.

2019 will be a competitive year for hiring. With this in mind, work on promoting fairness and equality for all. You may just find yourself tapping into the wants and desires of your candidate pool even more so than you do already.

If you need help with your diverse hiring procedure, why not get in contact with Heat Recruitment today?

by Lucy Evans