This month, an internal management report on gender pay at TypicalMidsCo was leaked. It’s broad-brush but clear that the average pay for females is 20 per cent lower than males, with female managers earning 15 per cent less.
Its two female directors, HR director Sally People and production director Bushra Malik, get a third less than their boardroom colleagues.
This report has gone viral, and has captured the attention of a union and law firm over the case. What should MD Dave Boss do?
Dave Boss should immediately take stock of why there gender pay gap exists and, subject to the answer, he should consider steps he can take to close it. As is proving to be the case, most businesses have a gender pay gap to varying extents. However, the fact of a gender pay gap is not necessarily a basis for claims by female employees, as shown by the recent equal pay claims brought forward by large numbers of female supermarket staff.
Assuming there is no basis for equal pay claims, about which legal advice should be taken, the answer is likely to be in the management of the bad publicity and the 20% gender pay causes. Initiatives to tackle the pay gap, such as considering more flexible working; increasing the value of lower paid roles, subsidising childcare or simply increasing women’s’ pay, should be prioritised and shared publicly to ease the anger caused by the revelation of the extent of the gender pay gap.
To issue an effective response to gender pay gaps, the first step may be to offer a sincere commitment to dealing with the firm’s own gender pay gap, backed up by specific examples of what will be done.
There are lessons to be learned from the issues facing TypicalMidsCo, namely the importance of conducting research and considering how pay gaps may be tackled.
Burying heads in the sand is unlikely to help deal with the fall out of a business’ gender pay gap revelation and, ideally, considering how the gap may be closed before it is made public could prove invaluable.
If you’re interested in any of the topics raised in this article, or for further information, please contact Maz. Alternatively, you can call to speak to one of the team on 0115 9888 777.