This video from law firm CMS provides a clear summary of actions that will help to make your gender pay gap reporting a smoother and more effective – identifying what it calls ‘golden rules’.
City Hive view
Gender pay gap reporting is often a missed opportunity for companies to engage with their staff – about the percentage gap itself, what it means in practice and what the company plans to do to address it. CMS has laid out some practical steps that can help to navigate the process and help companies to understand the importance of the process.
Failure to address the topic adequately brings reputational risks, including the risk that talent will be put off from joining your company.
In the video, CMS notes that the gender pay gap reporting approach should be part of the wider diversity and inclusion agenda at your company (so if you don’t already have such an agenda, it’s an excellent place to start). But companies will find themselves at different levels of sophistication, with regard to the reporting process itself, the communication of the gap and also with the identification of actions to address it.
CMS recommend being upfront about the process. The frankly excellent advice suggests:
- · Being prepared to explain the gap
- · A focus on the future – how the gap is being addressed
- · Including timescales for change
- · Telling your story in the narrative of the report
- · Recognising areas of improvement and focus on change
- · Hearing directly from employees
CMS also has some good recommendations for how to make sure this isn’t just a surface-level process. To do so, firms must engage in some leg work to understand the data and go beyond the statutory requirements. Their recommended starting point is pay quartiles, and to dig down deeper from there. This will mean looking at how the business operates across teams or offices, and looking at different levels and structures.
Along the way, be sure to ask challenging questions about your processes, and be ready to have slightly uncomfortable conversations. The better this process is exercised, the easier it will be to pinpoint the changes required.
And do build on existing recommendations and research – the video highlights research from the Government Equalities Office that rates different approaches for efficacy. But you may also want to look at more tailored advice that speaks to the asset and investment management industry.
Of the suggested actions, one of the most critical as far as City Hive are concerned will be the process of engagement with staff. Listen to what they suggest and use it to inform your action plan. Make sure you close the loop and communicate it back to them, with a timeframe. Addressing the gap will most likely be a longer-term process, and it’s important that staff know and understand why.
While the video closes with the advice to understand where you are accountable, noting that policy measures are needed too alongside societal change, City Hive feels that visual, tangible actions by our industry will go a long way to change perceptions and practices. Remember we can support you in your endeavours – contact us for more information.