Written by Ciara Duggan and

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The deadline for the third set of gender pay gap submissions is fast-approaching, with the public sector organisations due to submit their gender pay gap data by 30 March 2020, and private companies and charities by 4 April 2020.

What will employers updated information reveal about their progress in addressing the gender pay gap in their respective businesses?

Unfortunately, data from 2018 and 2019 showed that progress thus far has been slow – for full time workers, the gender pay gap in fact rose from 8.6% to 8.9% (when looking at the average hourly earnings for men and women), while the gap narrowed slightly from 17.8% to 17.3% when considering all workers.

A recent survey of 2,000 employees by Tiger Recruitment has shown that some are concerned their employers are not doing enough to address the gender pay gap; 19% of those surveyed felt that their employers treated men and women unequally when it came to pay, while a further 32% were unsure about whether their employer was fair or not.

The upcoming submissions therefore represent a chance for employers to step back and review whether any progress has been made to narrow their gender pay gap and to consider whether any measures previously implemented have been a success, and what further work is to be done to continue to narrow the pay gap.

For example, the data collected for these submissions may show some employers have been successful in increasing the number of women they have recruited, through the introduction of structured interviews or by using more skills-based assessments.

However, analysis of the same data may reveal that low numbers of women are considered for promotions or pay rises, and that further work is needed to narrow the gender pay gap in this regard.  The opportunity to analyse where the changes are needed is available. For example, looking at how promotions are approached and increasing the transparency of the process, or by creating a list of criteria against which candidates can be more objectively compared may make a significant difference.

There are benefits to actively engaging with strategies to narrow the gender pay gap. Higher calibre candidates will be attracted to businesses who offer them fair pay and opportunities, and as such are more likely to remain in the business, which in turn can lead to greater engagement, productivity and profit.

Employers should therefore view the submissions not as a mere “tick-box” exercise, but rather use the collection of this data as an opportunity to evaluate their progress and build strategies to continue narrowing the gender pay gap.

6th march 2020