Gender pay: from reporting to action

Posted on 27 June 2018

The first year of Gender Pay Reporting has coincided with a number of high profile equal pay claims to elevate the discussion on workplace gender diversity to an unprecedented level.

Jennifer Millins, Partner in Employment, welcomed Carrie Gracie, senior presenter at the BBC; Julia Simpson, Chief of Staff at International Airlines Group; and Stella Creasy, MP for Walthamstow for a panel discussion exploring how we move from conversation to positive action. The panel discussed what constitutes real change, what employees want to see and how companies can take steps to put in place tangible and measureable action plans for improvement.

Mishcon de Reya

Gender Pay Gap: From Reporting to Action

21 June 2018

 

Jennifer Millins

Employment Partner, Mishcon de Reya

I’m hoping that people will take away from tonight’s panel discussion, a little bit more of an idea of the challenges that employers face in trying to close the gender pay gap and what they can do as employers about that gender pay gap.

Daniel Naftalin

Head of Employment, Mishcon de Reya

The stats speak for themselves.  There is no doubt there is a problem and is something that society has to address but I think it is incumbent on businesses to look at where the problems are and address them.  If they don’t address them themselves, they are going to be addressed in the law. 

Jennifer Millins

Employment Partner, Mishcon de Reya

We have Stella Creasy, MP, we have Carrie Gracie, who is the former China Editor at the BBC who has had her own experiences of inequality of pay.  We also have Julia Simpson, who is Chief of Staff at International Airlines Group.

Stella Creasy

MP for Walthamstow

We are at a very early stage of really getting to grips with why Britain has such a big gender pay gap and undoubtedly there is going to need to be work on the data that we get but also the outcomes of having these conversations.  I think there will be legislation as part of that because fundamentally it is bad for Britain’s economy to only use 49% of our talent effectively and what this data is telling us is that we are missing out on 51%, i.e. the women. 

Carrie Gracie

Senior Presenter BBC

I discovered, in the middle of 2017, that I was being paid a lot less than the men who were doing similar jobs.  That little crack of transparency opened the way to me conducting an equal pay fight and many women don’t have any transparency, have got no idea what their male comparators earn, and then how can they ever get equal if they don’t even know what the man’s earning.  Transparency on pay is one of the most urgent things to sort out these problems. 

Julia Simpson

Chief of Staff, IAG (International Airlines Group)

We really need to understand some very deep-seated, unconscious biases, they are not just about women, they are around race, they are around disability, they are around age, everybody has unconscious bias.  But if you can be aware of it, once you are aware of it then organisationally, you can start designing it out.  Ironically, I think what will drive women to the top table, it is about doing the right thing and the moral thing but it will also be the bottom line because if you want to be in the best company, you are going to have to have a very diverse top team. 

Jennifer Millins

Employment Partner, Mishcon de Reya

Gender pay reporting is a really good start.  It is the first time that, in the UK, employers have been forced to look at their gender pay statistics and to see whether or not there is a gap in the average pay for men and women within their organisation.  But now, the real challenge for employers is working out why they have their gender pay gap, what they can do about it and how they can make year on year improvement. 

Mishcon de Reya

It’s business.  But it’s personal.

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