5 Myths About The Gender Pay Gap

With news that young mothers are paid 15% less than their colleagues, and revelations that women are still paid ~82p for every pound a man is paid, it’s clear to see that gender inequality is still very much an issue in 2017.

However, as I reported on before, with new legislation in place to ensure that businesses with over 250 employees declare the salaries they pay, and to which gender, things are surely set to change.

Though, of course, that relies upon honest and fair reporting. So ahead of the deadline of April 2018, let’s take a look at some of the myths surrounding pay gap reporting to ensure that this legislation will actually work.

  1. “Our Equal Pay Audits Will Show We Don’t Have A Pay Gap”

Whilst your equal pay audits may indeed show that you are paying men and women equally for the same job – as you absolutely should be doing – the gender pay gap report requires you to provide information on the differences in average salaries of men and women across your organisation.

This is to highlight whether there are more men at the top of the business being paid more, and women further down being paid less – albeit the same as their male counterparts at that level.

  1. “Our Business Is Male Dominated”

Such may be the case, but the pay gap report will help expose areas of your business that have poor female representation – regardless of the total amount of female employees you may have. This will allow businesses to evaluate their hiring processes, probe into why, and correct representation issues.

  1. “This Will Be Costly To Carry Out”

No it won’t. Your company should already have all the information in its HR department. If you aren’t storing information on staff salaries, something is seriously wrong. In terms of actually rectifying any pay gap, the cost won’t always be monetary, but should rather necessitate a cultural and attitudinal shift in your company. This will help out in the long run, as gender balanced companies report higher engagement, productivity, creativity and profits.

  1. “This Will Be A PR Disaster!”

Only if you let it be! Owning up to mistakes and demonstrating that there’s an action plan in place to combat any pay gap – if there is one – will demonstrate your business’s attitude towards rectifying the situation. In addition, the pay gap report can contain contextual information and highlight initiatives that the company has undertaken. This can be used to fix public perceptions.

  1. “My Business Is Female Lead, So I Don’t Need To Report!”

Well, good for you! But that doesn’t mean you don’t need to submit a report. The key to this new legislation is to calculate objective, national statistics which can ensure we are doing everything we can to close this gap. If your business demonstrates what is known as a ‘negative gap’, where women are paid more than men on average, then this is no different.

With the deadline to report set for April 2018, I would encourage any business that needs to submit to do so as soon as possible, giving yourselves as much time as you can to develop initiatives to combat any gap that may be discovered.

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