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These days, culture, purpose and stakeholder engagement are words seemingly mentioned in the corporate world as much as Brexit! However, similar to Brexit, these are not just buzzwords, they present real opportunities and, even more importantly, real risks.
These intangible assets are being scrutinised by investors and potential talent more and more, and the gender pay gap (GPG) reporting requirements are a prime example of regulators demanding more transparency around how these assets are managed and utilised.
Therefore, we see the GPG report as a huge opportunity which should not be taken lightly by corporates. It is critical that the GPG report contains the right information to enable potential talent to assess the company’s employment practices and action plans to reduce the pay gap.
We recently attended a breakfast meeting held by PRCA on 23 January 2019 to discuss how companies can enhance their GPG reporting. We have identified four key takeaways that will help companies on their GPG reporting journey:
1. Remember, message is key
As the gender pay gap is perceived to be widening this year, the most important thing that companies can do is to elaborate on the messaging. It is important to highlight that the company is focusing on changing and establishing an inclusive culture that enables women to bring forward their preoccupations. Despite not being required to produce a GPG report, Vectura is a great example of a company demonstrating the extent companies can go to tell the story behind the statistics. Vectura uses a simple structure and simple language to explain how it is overcoming industry challenges, for example by providing more opportunities for women to enter and progress in STEAM education and careers.
2. Address the company’s key recruitment processes
There is a strong perception that there are more men in senior positions than women, resulting in a higher pay gap. It is paramount to highlight whether the company has processes in place to manage this matter. For instance, some companies may decide to use “blind recruitment” practices by using third-party agencies.
3. Mention the company’s employment practices
It is important to highlight practices that might help women in the workplace, such as flexible working and mentoring schemes for women returning from maternity leave. Focus groups could also be carried out on a regular basis.
4. Time to share your action plan
Being secretive about GPGs is not a good tactic. Companies should take this opportunity to explain their GPG activities in order to get the best results. As this is the first anniversary since mandatory GPG reporting was introduced, it is an opportunity for companies to look back at their plan, report on what they have done since, be honest about whether it has worked, and if it hasn’t, provide the plan on what will happen next.