The Gender Pay Gap reporting is not going away: don't just report it , it all just sounds like blah blah blah anyway - will you do something about it please?

Laura Mariani

ThePeopleAlchemist Edit: Gender Pay Gap reporting is on the horizon again - Don't just report it, Fix it!

Gender Pay Gap: don't just report it; fix it! Yes, after a few blogs on life as experimentation on energy and how the mind affects matter and your reality, it is time for me to return to a topic that I am extremely passionate about. Women in Leadership/On Boards and Equality overall. The Gender Pay Gap submission deadlines are just around the corner, so here I am ...


The Gender Pay Gap reporting regulations came into effect on 5 April 2017. Organisations in Great Britain that have over 250 employees being required to publish their results on their website. And also upload them to the gender pay gap Service Government website.
Reporting requirements:
  • 4 April 2019 for private companies and charities
  • 30 March 2019 for public-sector organisations.


The figures reported in 2018 (for the 2017 snapshot) were not exactly glorious.
  • 78% of companies paid men more (based on median pay gap);
  • men made the majority of higher-paid jobs (Quelle surprise);
  • men were paid higher bonuses the women;
  • there was not one single sector that paid women more. And that includes fashion and beauty. Shocking!
Numbers, though, are just numbers. Apparently. Many organisations were full of exculpatory reasons for "the Gap". But, rather than justifying, we need to understand the poor numbers. And understand the obvious lack of senior women in leadership/on boards. The reasons vary from:
  • lack of fairness in reward and performance management
  • unwillingness to acknowledge biases
  • lack of confidence and capability among middle management
  • work allocation (the notion of 'male jobs' and 'female jobs').
According to Personnel Today, based on the 1000 reports already submitted at the beginning of February, the overall median gender pay gap stands at 10.4%. This is slightly lower than 2018’s final average of 11.8%. But even worse 31.3% had administrative errors. Firstly worrying because it might show a lack of care or appropriate resources dedicated to 'getting it right'. Secondly lack of attention from senior leadership. Which is crucial for the actual success and ultimate resolution of the issue.

Gender Pay Gap v Equal Pay

For clarity purposes and to avoid any confusion, Gender pay gap is not the same as Equal Pay. Under the Equality Act 2010, men and women performing like work, work rated as equivalent or work of equal value, must receive equal pay. Anything else is illegal. Equal Pay. This is the protection of unfair pay, which has been active in the UK since 1975. The Gender Pay Gap is the difference between what men typically earn in an organisation and what women earn. Irrespective of their role or seniority. Most specifically, the difference between the gross hourly earnings for all men and the gross hourly earnings for all women. It is expressed as a percentage of men’s earnings.

Please fix it!

Reporting the Gender Pay Gap is undoubtedly useful. Firstly as a way to actually record it and monitor it. Secondly, as a way to be publicly accountable. But most importantly, so that you can do something about it. Interestingly, last year, companies with great records on diversity and inclusion had particularly inequitable pay gaps. As unfortunately, all the noise around diversity rarely affects strategy and decision-making. Whether or not women are being paid fairly. And whether the company is a bias-less transparent meritocracy. So how do we fix it? There are many ways to tackle this. All not mutually inclusive or exclusive, but to quote just a few:
  1. Understanding real reasons for the gap to really affect change
  2. Developing a clear action plan/s with workforce data as a starting point
  3. Confronting difficult questions
  4. Clear commitment from the top (Leadership) to ensure the plan is developed. Actions are implemented, monitored and evaluated. And line managers are trained to be the voice of this process
  5. Investing in shared parental leave and flexible working
  6. Challenging the roles where flexible working is considered suitable for leading to better equality. For both parents so to balance working and caring
  7. Identifying unconscious bias at each stage of the employee cycle. Tackling them. De-biasing them
  8. Transparency. Openly discussing pay (policies) and progression
  9. Internal communication and education on why the gap exists. And what are the measures taken to resolve it.
Furthermore, we have the opportunity to extend the discussion to diversity and equality in general. And cover equally important aspects of diversity such as ethnicity, sexual identity, age, disability, etc. Because it is the right thing to do. Not only morally and legally. But also commercially. Shall we?
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Laura Mariani Best Selling Author, Content Creator and Change & Transformation Expert

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Laura xxx

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