Gender Pay Gap – 5 key questions to make sense of the numbers

4th March 2019

How to use Gender Pay Gap Reporting to grow your business – 5 key questions you need to ask of your GPG figures (and why)

Gender balance is not just a nice to have – it has the potential to drive economic growth. Chwarae Teg’s recent research found that £13.6bn could be added to Wales’ economy by 2028 if we were to achieve gender equality in terms of employment rate, hours worked and average productivity.

Gender Pay Gap reporting is the first step of a longer journey for forward thinking employers.

Here are the 5 key questions you need to ask of your figures:
  1. What is the gender breakdown of the workplace?
    Women’s under-representation in the sectors which are often better paid or offer more formal progression pathways is leading to the continued national pay gap. Consider the breakdown of your workforce as a whole – are women (or men) under-represented?
  2. What proportion of the management team are women?
    Across the UK women are under-represented in senior positions. In Wales, women make up just 6% of Chief Executives of the top 100 businesses. Increasingly Gender Pay Gap narratives are pointing to a lack of women in management positions as a key issue they need to address.
  3. Are women more or less likely to apply for a job within a company?
    Language used in advertisements often inadvertently discourages women from applying for roles. A recent study found that 40% of women had experienced gender-biased hiring practices. A number of factors affect recruitment in this way: a tendency to promote and hire in our own image, and a continued issue around people who wish to work flexibly being viewed less favourably.
  4. What roles are offered on a part time basis? Are these mainly in lower paid roles?
    Are your part time roles mainly in lower paid positions? In Wales women hold around 80% of part time jobs and that partly accounts for the significant difference between the pay gap for all workers (where part time roles are included) and those for full time workers only. If we consider that the average part time hourly rate in Wales is £8.98 and for full time work it’s £12.67 we can really see where that pay penalty is coming into play for women.
  5. How accessible are flexible working patterns?
    A lack of flexible working, particularly at more senior levels, is a key factor in the continued gender pay gap. Recent research found that less than 10% of full time jobs paid at £20k a year and above in 2017 were advertised as being open to flexibility.

Flexible working continues to be seen as a women’s issue and to be associated with a lower level of ambition. Despite an increasing number of men saying they’d like to take up flexible working research shows that they still feel marginalised from being able to access these working opportunities.