February 6, 2018
Failing to engage properly with employees on this topic can have a damaging impact on a business. There is often complexity to the causes of gender pay gap within an organisation, and it is critical that companies take the time to understand the root causes of their gender pay gap and help their employees understand this in the context of their business and their sector.
There is no overnight solution to gender pay gap, however if your organisation is eager to increase the gender balance across all levels of your organisation, then it is important to share credible, achievable plans with your employees.
It is also imperative that companies recognise that dialogues around gender balance and exclusivity should be ongoing – and not relegated to the yearly reporting deadline.
The UK regulations require large employers in the private sector to take a snapshot of their employee pay data on 5 April 2017 across six criteria* and then report on it no later than 4 April. The data should be reported on the organisation’s own website and also on www.gov.uk/report-gender-pay-gap-data. It is also a legal requirement that it is accompanied by a written statement of accuracy signed by a member of senior management.
The media is pursuing multiple angles of this story. Contextualising the message and presenting a clear, honest narrative is vital.
The Financial Times has featured four companies that ‘altered’ their gender pay gap figures to appear more favourable. It is also important to remember that the gender pay gap reporting exercise is very different from an equal pay audit. Gender pay gap focuses on the overall difference in the average pay between men and women over a period of time across an organisation. Equal pay assesses pay differences between men and women who perform in the same or similar roles.
This is an important differentiation that most companies are now being sure to articulate in their communications as it is easy to misunderstand the difference.
Companies should be prepared to have their reporting data checked, their narrative challenged and the credibility of their remediation plans questioned by the media.
FTI Consulting can support you across all facets of gender pay gap reporting. We can help you understand the underlying causes of your pay gap by analysing complex data, and we can help you craft an integrated internal and external communications strategy. Given the annual reporting requirements, we can also help you design and embed longer-term HR, Operational, Cultural and Talent Development initiatives to help foster a more diverse workforce and to help address your gender pay gap.
For many organisations, understanding the data they need to produce for a reliable assessment of pay across gender is a complex exercise.
Differences in tenure and experience, full-time versus part-time positions, accounting for career gaps and correcting for performance assessments over time can all easily introduce statistical errors into the analysis of compensation. FTI Consulting uses analytics to correct these factors to ensure a fair, transparent comparison of compensation.
This analysis can be used to identify any meaningful gaps and to understand the likely drivers of those gaps. If there appears to be a detailed bias that, for example, is a result of different gender treatments of tenure, the organisation can not only address the gap but address the underlying causes of the pay gap.
Internal and external communications should be planned in tandem as companies are required to post the information to both the government and corporate websites.
Additionally, all organisations should assume that their internal communications to employees will leak externally if they are a high-profile organisation. Therefore, it is critical that there is consistent and timely messaging with all audiences to support company credibility and reputation.
Understand the data to identify the root causes of gender imbalance in your organisation.
Ensure there is board level involvement and buy-in for the planning of long-term strategies for cultivating gender diversity.
Gender pay gap is not just a compliance obligation, it is also a wider signal to customers, clients, employees, policy makers, investors and the media about your approach to diversity, inclusion and competitiveness.
Clarify the reasons for your gender pay gap in the context of your sector, ongoing diversity efforts and plans for the future.
Be realistic with audiences about the time needed to achieve gender balance. Addressing gender pay gap is not an overnight fix and actions that are sustainable and reinforced will be more credible.
The press is scrutinising both what companies report and how they report. To date, trying to sugarcoat the data has been called out and criticised.
Employees will have their own perceptions of levels of opportunity within an organisation. Your gender pay gap reporting, analysis and explanation should reflect their day-to-day experiences. If you expect a bumpy ride from the media, consider acknowledging this to employees.
Addressing gender pay gap will not happen overnight. We recommend that our clients embark on a small number of long-term interventions that are credible and feasible as opposed to initiating a programme that may be too ambitious to sustain. We can help with the following:
We can help you identify and embed positive changes to your company culture to support a more diverse and gender balanced workforce.
Gender pay gap reporting should not be the only time your stakeholders hear you discuss diversity. Companies that share ongoing positive updates around diversity internally and externally will be better equipped to manage yearly gender pay gap reporting requirements.
We have a suite of offerings to help companies increase their approach to identifying and developing female talent across all levels of the organisation.
We can help your leaders understand the powerful impact of inclusive leadership, and we can help you build buy-in for diversity and gender parity across all members of your leadership and extended leadership teams.
We can help you identify and improve the value proposition you offer to employees; ensuring that you attract and retain your ideal talent – now and in the future.
FTI Consulting’s Research Team has conducted primary research into four countries across 4,063 high-potential millennials to understand what is most important to attracting and retaining female and male millennials over the long term.
Our Public Affairs Team is plugged into the discussions that are driving current and future legislation to understand the dialogues in your sector.
Eager to know how you stack up against your peers? Our Research Team can provide industry benchmarking to help you understand how you compare against competitors in keeping and attracting your top talent.
Developing and leading the yearly leadership development offsites for a specialty petroleum and chemicals company focussed on managing change, risk and crisis.
Developing female talent across all levels of the organisation for a top 10 UK bank.
Designing a global leadership development programme for an international specialty chemicals company, rolled out concurrently across multiple countries.
Developing a future leaders programme for a multinational manufacturer – helping top performers develop into inspiring leaders.
Using analytics to identify groups of employees with comparable performance, tenure, credentials and other characteristics to compare the use of incentives and support including compensation for a global professional services firm.
Using predictive analytics to understand the role of diversity in team and individual performance in the context of multiple HR and operational initiatives for a global beverage company.
We combine extensive experience in employee engagement, talent development, media relations, digital communications, data analytics, public affairs and research across these sectors: