The latest studyby the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has found that almosttwo thirdsof women look at a prospective employer’s gender pay gap before applying for a job with that employer.
Commenting on the results of the study the EHRC Chair David Isaac said: “The message to all employers from your existing and prospective female staff is very clear from these results. They want action, and if they don’t seechangethere is a very real risk that they won’t join you or, most importantly, stay with you. It will also affect their commitment to you.”
Isaac went on to add “It’s crucial that all employers think seriously about this issue and demonstrate to their workforce that they are committed to closing the gender pay gap. A working environment which allows everyone to achieve their full potential is vital. If you don’t deliver on this, you will fail to access a huge talent pool and will put your business atrealcompetitive disadvantage.”
The survey of 2,515 employees, from companies with 250 or more employees and who are therefore required to publish data on their gender pay gaps, also highlights that 58% of women would also be less likely to recommend their employer to others if they had a substantial gender pay gap and half ofrespondentssaid gender pay gaps would reduce their motivation and duty to their role.
Significantly, the research found that 80% of women and 69% of men would be willing to help theiremployertake action to reduce its pay gap,howevera quarterthinkthey have no influence.
Furthermore, young women and minorities were especially demotivated by inequality and amongmen39% would feel less proud to work for an employer with a gender pay gap.
EHRC chair David Isaac urged employers to incorporate solutions into their action plans to govern change, starting with the introduction of flexible working positions on job adverts and the opening of discussions with the government about introducing a duty that requires employers to advertise flexible positions.
So, how can a business change their gender pay gap and become more appealing to candidates?
Offer Managers diversity and unconscious bias training courses to raise awareness.
Offer leadership training for women aspiring to higher-level jobs.
Harness the power of data to highlight areas of inequality and to remove bias from the personnel system and make hiring, performance and promotion appraisals as objective as possible.
Enforce or encourage polices such as paternity leave, subsidised childcare and flexible working.
Offer opportunities that increase the value of lower paid jobs as research shows that women tend to often be in lower paid jobs and need the chance to earn a living wage and climb the ranks.