Welcome to the roundup for our latest webinar; How to close your pay gap by 16 percentage points; which focused on the importance of using gender pay gap reporting to drive transformational change and the all-important steps your organisation can take to close out incidences of pay disparity amongst their workforce.
At Advanced, we take great pride in our commitment to fostering diversity, equality, and inclusion, and so we’re proud of the significant progress we have made in our own gender and diversity pay gap reporting. We wanted to take the time to share our own experiences on how we closed our pay gap by 16% points to 6.8%, hopefully lending some insight into how you can pivot your ongoing strategy to ensure you are getting the most out of your gender pay gap reporting.
To help us along this journey, we were joined by Advanced’s Customer Success Team Manager, Rosie Shenton, along with Head of Culture, Claire Ross, Nicole Merriman our People Experience Insights Manager and Kelsey Farrell, Senior Internal Comms Specialist. These individuals have all played a significant role in making gender and pay gap reporting a success here at Advanced and we think there’s no better teachers out there to help you along your way to closing out your own pay gaps and using this to the advantage of your business performance. In this blog we’ll tease out and cover some of the key points of discussion from the webinar.
What are diversity pay gaps?
Pay gaps are indicators of systemic and often well-embedded biases related to diversity and inclusion. More specifically, they are the measure of the percentage in average hourly pay difference between specific groups within an organisation. Gaps can exist between genders, sexualities, individuals with disabilities or different ethnicities and are generally considered to be indicative of outdated societal attitudes and biases.
Since 2015, there have been legal requirements in place for organisations to disclose information around their gender pay gaps, often in the form of annual reporting. In the UK and Ireland – any organisation with more than 250 employees must legally report on this data. Many organisations, such as The PWC use this reporting period to disclose more information than legally obligated- publishing information on ethnic, disability and sexual orientation-related pay gaps.
Why do we care?
Disparities in pay have a way of highlighting biases within your organisation. Whilst tiers of pay based on factors such as performance are widely encouraged, to have gaps in pay for factors out of a person’s control such as their ethnic background or sexual orientation, serves only to raise worrying questions about their parent organisation.
Many of these disparities- particularly gender pay gaps- are rooted in older, outdated attitudes and indicative of certain biases. Organisations may feel that these gaps represent attitudes that do not align with their contemporary values and to that end, it is in their interest to gain a clear understanding of where and why gaps in pay exist within their structure.
As for why we care- well simply put, because it’s the right thing to do! In Claire’s own words: “We believe that every individual deserves to be treated with fairness, respect, and dignity, and we are committed to fostering a workplace culture that reflects these values – as that’s how we set people up to thrive, right? We’re also always looking for opportunities to develop a sense of belonging for our employees as we know this helps with performance and engagement so whilst it’s the right thing to do there’s business benefit too!”
Your organisation’s rewards and benefits system is also reflective of your EVP or Employee Value Proposition – Employer Branding. A well-defined EVP highlights your key strengths as a place to work and defines the specific qualities which distinguish you from your competitors when it comes to recruitment and keeping your best people.
Competitive wages and rewards structures form a huge part of your EVP and the people experience within your organisation as a whole. However, today’s workforce is also demanding that organisations take a firmer, more emphatic and empathetic stance on societal and environmental concerns. The values employees are looking to be evinced by their organisations are wholly at odds with the biases inherent in diversity pay gaps, which may lead to people taking stock of their workplaces and assessing their suitability as employers.
Building in opportunities to invite diversity of thought and ideas allows us to develop more robust strategies, make better decisions, whilst keeping agile to an ever-changing business landscape.
Candidates are watching to see how inclusive a prospective employer is and whether they might feel like they belong and the pay gap reporting is a solid indicator of fact behind social posts and employer brand. Are we sharing the right information, evidence and image to attract top talent from diverse backgrounds to give us that richer talent pool with varied skills, knowledge, and perspectives? Closing your pay gap can also be markedly beneficial for the performance of your business.
Advanced’s Pay Gap report highlights & lowlights
This was our third year of Diversity Pay Gap reporting, where we report across all potential pay gaps across all diversity and personal characteristics. You can read our Pay Gap report here.
The first step was to gather as much diversity data from our employee communities as possible, which can be automated through our product Advanced HR. This data collection can only come after building trust and understanding with our employees.
Once we have the data and have taken reasonable steps to build confidence within it and make sure we’re really looking at what we should be, we can start to investigate the drivers behind the data and building actions to continue our journey.
We’re now at a point where we have enough data to start analysing trends through time, and that provides us with really useful insight into inclusion at Advanced.
We have seen a number of significant reductions in pay gaps this year. For example, we saw the mean gender pay gap reduce for the fifth year running and some progress in terms of female representation.
What we’ve found is that our first year of quarterly talent reviews is a key factor helping us to reduce our pay gaps. We’re really happy that our continuous performance management approach has had a positive impact across the organisation and across different community groups.
Should your report highlight any incidences of gender pay disparity, then it is reasonable to assume that your employees, key stakeholders and interested external parties will want to see your organisation take some practical steps towards redressing the balance.
With gender pay gap reporting now an annual responsibility and other forms of pay disparity reporting being folded into the process, this actually presents organisations with a unique opportunity to not only provide an action plan for improvement but also as a yearly touchstone to audit and assess how successful any previous initiatives may have been.
How do you know where to start though? Our advice is to take the time for self-reflection and reconcile those findings with what they may be suggesting about the company and in turn, using those insights to dictate your next steps.
We also share the findings with our People Experience, or HR, Team and our Leadership team, so we can encourage that debate and dialogue on how we can do better.
Take the time to introduce your company and to frame your diversity pay gap reporting in the proper context. What is the message that you want to send? Are you happy with the figures? If so, champion them. If things aren’t where you need them to be right now, then acknowledge that and make it clear that you are on the road to doing better. We highlighted our 4 part action plan in full in the webinar.
Continuous PM & Quarterly Talent Reviews
Continuous performance management is inherently more inclusive that traditional methods of performance management because it provides a dynamic and ongoing process for evaluating and developing employees' performance, allowing for more regular feedback, recognition, and improvement opportunities. All employees are heard and have the opportunity to understand, adjust and improve their performance Unlike the more traditional approach of annual performance reviews, which tends to be more biased, on the basis of who speaks the loudest, or got the most callouts.
Continuous performance management offers a holistic and real-time approach to evaluating employees' contributions. Through the use of our Clear Review performance management solution, we are able to build a system of performance-based pay rewards which continuously acknowledges top achievers, regardless of sex, race or creed.
Clear Review has been a particular asset to us in achieving our goals in that it already effortlessly captures colleague goals, actions and feedback within the system- meaning that when it comes to assessing performance, we aren’t starting from scratch on an annual basis- there is already an organic and honest overview of that individual’s output across the whole year.
Hopefully this was an inspirational whistle-stop tour of the importance of gender pay gap reporting and some of the key steps organisations can take to build upon their findings and set themselves for sustained wins year after year.
If this has piqued your interest and you’d like a deeper dive into the topics covered within this article- we encourage you to take a look at the webinar, where the team take a more focused look at the subjects covered here.
If you missed the webinar the first time around, don’t panic! The whole thing is available to watch for free and on demand at your convenience here.
You can also read our helpful resources, and our very own recently published Pay Gap Report here.