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Gender Pay Gap -What Next?

Gender Pay Gap -What Next?

 

As I had barely finished my morning coffee before being asked about this, and several organisations have contacted me overnight to ask "What should I do now about the gap?" I have produced a quick guide to some of my initial thoughts.

So, the deadline for gender pay gap reporting has been and gone. Now your challenge is how to deal with it.

Early indications are that around 1,500 businesses missed the midnight deadline, the Equality & Human Rights Commission are reportedly contacting them on April 9th and giving these businesses a further 28 days to comply.

Here I am going to offer you some quick tips and ideas on dealing with the communication side of your gender pay gap results and how to move forward. Some companies, and indeed industries will have come out better than others, and some media outlets may have overlooked the context. In I could write a whole series of articles on why the way in which data has been collected and reported is wrong, but, that is not why you are here.

Your challenge now if you haven't already done so is to think about an effective communication strategy and what you are going to do next.

Your audience will vary from the press, external stakeholders, your workforce and your competition.

1- If you have good news -Don't be afraid to celebrate the good news, be aware that if you are going to promote a positive result, you need to be clear about how the data was collected, who was involved and ensure it is accurate.

If on the other hand, your gender pay gap looks less favourable think about what you can do to address the balance or make a positive change. Be prepared to talk about the gender pay gap and how or why it has occurred.

2- Don't hide away -If your gender pay gap is high or potentially shows you in a less favourable light compared to others within your industry do not disappear and try to avoid the facts, this will possibly cause an increase in attention and enhance the probability of reputational damage.

3- Think about who delivers a message -Often in situations such as this, especially if the news is not what you might have hoped businesses tend to roll out the big guns and push the CEO in front of the media. Are they the most suited person? Could an HR representative be better placed? Does your media team do better than a senior figure at dealing with media questioning?

4- Have you got a detailed plan - Even if your gender pay gap is below the national average or gives you a reason to celebrate now is not the time to sit down and pat yourself on the back. How are you going to maintain or enhance things?

If, you have had a rough night because your outcome is not fantastic what are you going to do? Have you got a training and development plan to get people talking about inclusion within your business? What steps are you going to take?

5- Make sure you are consistent - Ensure that managers and critical people are delivering the same message to the business. I am not suggesting that you put words into peoples mouths but, I am saying that you should make sure everyone is moving in the same direction.

As I said at the beginning of this quickfire guide, these are merely five things you should consider before jumping head first into the gender pay gap media storm. What you really need to do is take a strategic view on diversity and inclusion and formulate a sensible plan.