Over the past month we have witnessed the tip of the pay gap iceberg, with iconic institutions becoming embroiled in bitter disputes over disparity in pay.

The BBC, Church of England, Google, Financial Times and Cambridge University have all found themselves on the receiving end of staff resentment, public outrage and negative publicity as details of their gender pay gaps have emerged, and this is just the beginning.

“There will be many BBC moments ahead as transparency kicks in. Gender pay is still a glass pyramid with fewer women at the top.
Ann Francke, CEO, CMI & Gender Pay Gap Conference Speaker, July 2017

As more and more firms release details of their own gender pay gap between now and next April we can expect media naming and shaming and the ensuing public backlash to intensify.

Sector specific league tables by gender pay gap are the inevitable outcome and the potential ramifications for staff recruitment and retention are yet to be known, indeed some believe league tables could prove to be a self-fulfilling prophecy.

“We are concerned about the use of league tables across economic sectors to highlight problems…This will likely draw the attention of women to the lower earnings potential they will have to face in forging a career in the STEM areas, where they are already seriously under-represented. It could disincentivise women from exploring opportunities in the very areas government wants to see more women working, in order to remove the gender pay gap.”
Dianah Worman OBE, Co director, Inclusive Talent Ltd (Former Diversity Adviser, CIPD)

Looking beyond gender

The gender pay gap is just the first equality area to be subject to enforced transparency and legislation. This week the Resolution Foundation released a study revealing that large living standard gaps between different ethnicities persist in Britain, with typical Bangladeshi household incomes being £8,900 (35%) lower than the White British median; Pakistani households £8,700 less (34%) and typical Black African households £5,600 less (22%).

Following the release of the report, the prime minister’s spokesman said:

“This is a hugely important issue, which is why the prime minister ordered a race disparity audit to confront and address unfairness in the system…We have never shied away from the fact there are disparities between how people are treated depending on their race. We remain committed to addressing these issues head-on and will be publishing the results of the audit in the autumn.”

Pay transparency is an issue which seems destined to be at the forefront of workforce planning for the foreseeable future and whilst the gender pay gap dominates the headlines for now, we can expect the ethnic, disability and age pay gaps to be subject to increased public scrutiny in due course.

The solution for employers is to be pro-active and prepared and get ahead of the game before legislation is introduced. Businesses need to embrace full pay transparency in the workplace now, develop a strategy to close pay gaps – be they by gender, ethnicity, disability or age – and devise a communication strategy to control the narrative that surrounds their pay gap results.

Gender Pay Gap National Conference

The Gender Pay Gap National Conference has been devised to address these three fundamental strategies for businesses addressing their Gender Pay Gap. Expert speakers from a range of sectors will be giving best practice advice and guidance on how your business can successfully navigate Gender Pay Gap reporting unscathed.

The Gender Pay Gap National Conference will take place at the Copthorne Tara Hotel London Kensington on Thursday 12th October 2017, it will also be available to watch online both live and on-demand.

> Register your delegate place here

Watch Emma Stewart MBE, CEO, Timewise Foundation address last year’s conference where she discusses “New ways of working: flexible hiring“.

This year’s speakers include:

Speakers are being added to the conference agenda on a regular basis, so be sure to keep track of the agenda page here.

  • Sam Smethers, Chief Executive, The Fawcett Society
  • Ann Francke, Chief Executive, Chartered Management Institute
  • Sheila Wild, Founder, Equal Pay Portal
  • Neil Carberry, Managing Director of People and Infrastructure, Confederation of British Industry (CBI)
  • Professor Carol Woodhams, Associate Professor in Human Resource Management, University of Exeter Business School
  • Dr Jana Javornik, Associate Professor in Public and Social Policy; Director, Noon Centre for Equality and Diversity in Business
  • Sarah Jackson, Chief Executive, Working Families
  • Dr Sarah Peers, Vice-President, Women’s Engineering Society
  • Bibi Hilton, Managing Director, Golin PR

Further information:

For further information regarding this event visit the conference website here.

If you have any questions or enquiries regarding this event please contact us via email at paul.rushworth@neilstewartassociates.co.uk or call us on 020 7324 4330.