It is understandable for people to think that an issue intrinsically linked to pay would cost lots of money to solve.
An issue as widespread and prevalent as the gender pay gap was never going to be inexpensive, but there are plenty of free and cost-effective steps your organisation can take to reduce it.
Changing recruitment systems, structures and assessments can have a massive impact on the pay gap.
First of all, when putting together shortlists of candidates for recruitment or promotion, make sure you include multiple women.
Then, rather than basing your new hire on an interview alone, why not ask candidates to perform tasks they’d be expected to do in their new role? That way, you are assessing suitability for the role more fairly.
If you standardise these tasks and how they are scored to ensure fairness amongst the candidates.
Finally, make sure your interviews are rigidly structured, as unfair bias is more likely to make itself known when the process is unstructured.
You can ensure a rigid structure by asking the same questions of all candidates, and grading them using pre-specified criteria.
One of the issues contributing towards the pay gap is the fact that women are less likely to negotiate their pay, and those that do may be subject to discrimination or are simply refused.
The best way to tackle this is to be transparent with salary ranges.
This helps encourage women to negotiate their salary, as they know what they can reasonably expect.
Apply the same transparency to your promotion, pay & reward processes.
If employees know what criteria they have to fill, how they are assessed, and how they inform decisions, then objective evidence-based decision making is guaranteed.
Appointing a diversity manager or task force (all of which can be done internally so you aren’t required to spend money on a new hire), can help reduce inequality in the workplace.
These individuals can assess decisions made around recruitment, pay, reward, and promotion, or can be present and contribute towards the conversation.
Ultimately, this will create a culture of accountability and should improve the overall representation of women in your business.
If you decide to hire a diversity manager (or taskforce) it is recommended that they have a senior or executive role within your organisation and have access to internal data.
To take your commitment to an inclusive organisation a step further, you could implement diversity training across the business.
However, it is important not to fall into the trap of thinking that providing diversity training is enough to solve the gender pay gap, and inclusivity as a whole.
4. Parental Leave
One of the major sticking points of the gender pay gap is maternity leave.
The gap becomes dramatically wider when women have children, but there are ways to reduce it.
Shared parental pay.
It allows working parents to share up to 50 weeks leave and 37 weeks’ pay in their new-born’s first year.
Informing your staff of this is a good start. You can take this a step further by offering enhanced shared parental pay at the same level as enhanced maternity pay.
Enhanced maternity pay is entirely at your discretion, so it is up to you how much you decide to pay your employees, the key is to pay an equal amount for shared parental leave.
If you have a senior leader within the company who has utilised shared parental leave/pay, then share this example and encourage others to do the same.
There are still costs…
Of course, there are still costs. As with most major changes in the workplace, they don’t happen without a little shake up. However, following the steps highlighted above will help decrease your organisation’s pay gap without breaking the bank.
It’s up to you to take the extra steps and decide how much money you are willing to spend to help reduce your gap even further.