Gender Pay Gap Reporting on its own isn't enough

Chloe Chambraud, Business in the Community's Gender Equality Director comments on today's mandatory deadline for Gender Pay Reporting 

“The figures published so far clearly show that gender pay gap reporting on its own isn’t enough. To create truly fair and equal workplaces, employers need to do far more. Otherwise, it will take another 51 years to close the gender pay gap in the UK. 

“Women expect to see a pay gap but want to know why it exists and what employers are doing to close it. Our research found that 92% would use information on gender pay gaps to choose between two potential employers, and more than half of female respondents would favour the company with the smallest pay gap or the one that is more proactive in closing it. That’s why publishing gender pay gap data needs to be accompanied by an action plan of what employers will do to address any gaps in their organisations. We need all employers to be more transparent and inquisitive about their gaps and explain the reasons for those differences and what they can do to eliminate them. Transparency shone a light on a problem which has existed for centuries, now we need proper action. 

“Under-representation of women in senior roles continues to be an issue, partly due to the lack of progression to senior roles. Even though women outnumber men at university, women’s careers suffer as soon as they become mums because they take time out of the labour market and part-time work. The uneven distribution of caring responsibilities is the biggest barrier to women’s progression and this is why to help mothers, employers need to help fathers too.

“Ultimately, only calculating and publishing gender pay gap figures is not enough. To ensure their workplaces are truly inclusive, employers must understand the factors driving their pay gaps and the groups of women who are most affected. Employers must address the root causes of inequality, from reducing bias and increasing transparency in recruitment, appraisal and promotion processes to normalising flexible working, for men and women, and offer financially viable parental leave packages. Only then we will ensure that men and women have equal lives at work and home.”