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Clare Parkinson

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4 March 2019 Clare Parkinson

Clare Parkinson offers advice on how businesses can tackle the gender pay gap in the workplace.

On average, women take home 18 per cent less than male colleagues, according to findings in 2018 and so what happens if other businesses’ gender pay gap increases or they fail to meet their targets at closing the gap?

Publicly announcing an increase may affect female workers in the company, causing them to wonder why their employer has not only failed to improve the situation but has also allowed it to deteriorate. 

A potential method is increasing pay transparency to outline how all male and female employees are being paid within the organisation and the reasoning for this. Data collected could include salaries at recruitment, rates of promotion, and the proportion of mothers returning to a company after they have given birth.

The company could also consider introducing more family-friendly options to enable mothers to come back to work flexibly, encourage the take-up of shared parental leave or arrangements for discounted rates at local nurseries to assist with child care. 

Some sectors may struggle to attract a female workforce because of stereotypes about it maintaining a ‘lad culture’. 

Employers can aim to counteract this by liaising with local schools or colleges to implement targeted campaigns aimed at young women. If they do currently employ female workers, they could provide further support or guidance to progress, which could be through mentorship schemes or performance self-assessments to stop them underestimating 

their potential.

Employers are not legally obliged to have reduced the gap by April, but displaying a public rise in the difference in earnings between men and women could have a negative effect on the overall reputation of the company.

Clare Parkinson is pay and reward manager at Croner