Why gender pay gap reporting should go beyond gender

New rules introduced in 2017 require all companies with 250 or more employees to undertake mandatory gender pay reporting.[1] But, with less than three months to go before the 5 April deadline (31 March for public sector organisations), the vast majority of companies are yet to comply:

  • Only 6% of the 9,000 companies obliged to submit figures have done so.[2]

If you’re one of those 8,522 companies yet to report, what can you learn from those that have already reported, and what’s the best way to communicate your results?

As is often the case when communicating complex subject matter or potentially bad news, it isn’t necessarily about the figures themselves – although those should be presented clearly – it’s about communicating your results in a way that tells a story.

That doesn’t mean creating a piece of fiction; you’ll soon be found out if your results are anything but truthful. Rather, it means sharing the context that surrounds the figures and, more importantly, the next chapters in your evolution as a business, including the action(s) being taken to address any gap you may have.

Weetabix[3] and Virgin Media[4] provide excellent examples of gender pay gap reports. Both are well structured, well written and nicely designed reports, making good use of the companies’ branding. Crucially, both have shared not only where they are now, but how they are moving forward. The Virgin Media report, in particular, goes beyond gender, broadening the subject to their wider cultural plans.

  • Virgin Media reported a mean gender pay gap of 9%.
  • The company is aiming to achieve gender parity by 2025.
  • Virgin’s cultural plans include ‘making inclusion a normal part of what we do and who we are’.

This broader approach is the one we at Caburn Hope recommend, focusing not just on gender but on creating balance and equality. This means ensuring all employees and prospective employees are treated fairly and have access to the same opportunities, regardless of their gender, where they come from, or any other factor.

The equality and diversity of your organisation is connected to your entire ethos and purpose as an employer. And it’s that purpose or sense of ‘something greater’ that millennials seek in prospective employers. If your organisation doesn’t demonstrate a clear purpose and an inclusive underlying culture, you could miss out on the all-important talent your business needs to grow and flourish.

At Caburn Hope, we’re helping organisations not only to report their gender pay gaps, but to overhaul their whole corporate narratives and employer brands to showcase their purpose and culture. So, whether you simply need some help with the task at hand, or you’d like to use this legal requirement as a springboard for something greater, please do get in touch. As communicators we’re always happy to talk.

[1] Gender pay gap reporting: overview – Gov.uk

[2] UK employers change data on government gender pay gap portal – FT.com

[3] 2017 Gender Pay Gap Report – Weetabix Food Company

[4] Gender Pay Gap Report 2017 – Virgin Media