While major strides have been made in recent years, the gender pay gap is still very real. Some reports suggest that it will take 63 years to completely close the gender pay gap, with the median hourly pay gap in 2022 standing at 12.07%.
It is important for HR managers and employers to act as a driver for change.
Kate Palmer, HR Director at Peninsula says “There are many steps HR can take to help address the gender pay gap; a good starting point is to conduct an internal review. This should consider whether current practices are inclusive, encourage development, and actively support the career progression of women.
“Pay reviews should take place to analyse whether men and women within the business are being paid equally. Don’t presume that there is no issue just because employees have not raised any concerns; HR should lead the way by actively looking to remove any form of inequality within their business.
“Review recruitment processes to ensure there is no unconscious bias, and that decisions regarding both recruitment and promotion opportunities are fair.
“Actively encourage women to pursue career opportunities within the business to help them achieve their career goals. Look at training provisions and opportunities for advancement and ensure that all staff receive training around appropriate behaviour within the workplace to help create an inclusive environment.
“Regular catch-up sessions and 1-2-1’s allow both employers and employees to discuss their personal development. The more a business can do to encourage women to stay in work and progress, the more likely it is that the gender pay gap will start to close, with more women securing higher-paying positions.
“Offering support to women within the business will also help with retention. And flexible working arrangements, such as flexible hours and remote working, can help female employees achieve a greater work-life balance.
“It’s also vital to consider women’s health, for example, there should be support for women experiencing menopause including reasonable adjustments, where possible. Adjustments might involve providing a cooler, quieter working environment and removing distractions.
“All these measures will help female employees stay within the business. And by proactively taking steps to close gender pay gaps and support female colleagues into higher paying positions, this will help to empower women to further their careers… and have a positive impact on your workforce overall.”