The theme of this year’s International Women’s Day (IWD) is ‘Choose to Challenge’. As they say on their website “A challenging world is an alert world. And from challenge comes change.” As a company that is committed to the boundaries in HRTech, we couldn’t agree more.
That’s why, ahead of IWD 2021, HRLocker conducted a survey to identify the attitudes of HR professionals towards the gender pay gap (GPG) and the measures they were taking towards achieving pay parity.
From our report, here are three preconceptions that certainly require challenging.
Wrong, wrong and wrong again. There’s no doubt that there are more men, with the required skills, available for senior roles. But this stems from decades of societal convention, that required women to choose between their careers and motherhood; where women were, for all intents and purposes, penalised for having kids by unaccommodating working hours and stifled career development. It is one of the major issues IWD is battling to overcome.
With the shift to remote working, you might imagine the playing field has been levelled. Unfortunately, the opposite seems to be true. A 2020 McKinsey report revealed women’s jobs are 1.8 times more vulnerable to the crisis than men’s. Meanwhile, the burden of unpaid care has fallen disproportionately on women, further compounding the gender stereotype of ‘mother carer, father earner.’
The benefits of having more women in leadership are well documented. In fact, considering the disruptive times we’re living in, greater diversity is essential, as HBR research shows women are, in fact, better leaders during a crisis, possessing more of the essential skills and qualities than their male counterparts.
Our research found that three-quarters of HR professionals feel their organisations are doing enough to address equal pay. A bold statement considering the pay gap stood at 15.5% in 2020, down just 1.9% from 2019.
Many HR professionals, including a good number of those we surveyed, however, do believe further measures need to be taken to narrow the divide. Most popular among these is the notion of anonymising performance and pay reviews. Search the topic on Google and you’ll find as many arguments for as against. For those in favour, the belief is that it reduces discrimination and promotes honesty. Those against, detest the lack of transparency. Whichever camp you’re in, what’s important is that your employees support your review policies and feel they are fair and objective.
Other suggestions included fines for companies that failed to pay equality and the establishment of quotas for women in leadership positions. For us, none of these measures can be truly successful without cultural change and its embracement of the highest levels of an organisation.
While many companies report their gender pay gap, particularly those in the UK where it has been mandatory, significantly fewer HR professionals regularly analyse their pay rates by gender.
Historically, human resources have been somewhat conservative in its digital transformation journey, seeking out singular tech solutions to HR problems. That’s understandable: many of the tools available were clunky and offered little in the way of data analysis. The pandemic has changed that. The C-suite is looking more to CHROs for data-driven answers to help inform their organisational strategy, meaning the HR department needs to embrace data analysis like never before.
In the last year, we’ve seen a huge rise in demand for data analysis and reporting features from our clients. Now, in addition to massively reducing the administrative burden for HR professionals, supporting remote working and enabling anonymous reviews for those who want them, HRLocker provides them with insightful, data-rich reports at the click of a button.
The gender pay gap will not be remedied overnight. But by choosing to challenge the norms, shine a light on the issues that exist and make the necessary (often hard) changes they require, we can make the work a better and fairer place for everyone.
Happy International Women’s Day from everyone at HRLocker!