Eight ways to understand your organisation's gender pay gap
Key questions for employers to ask that will help you to identify different potential causes of your gender pay gap.
- Do people get ‘stuck’ at certain levels within your organisation?
- Are women more likely to be recruited into lower paid roles in your organisation?
- Do men and women leave your organisation at different rates?
- Do particular aspects of pay (such as starting salaries and bonuses) differ by gender?
- Do men and women receive different performance scores on average?
- Are you doing all that you can to support part-time employees to progress?
- Are you supporting both men and women to take on caring responsibilities?
Is there a gender imbalance in your promotions?
To avoid gender imbalances higher up in your organisation, men and women need to apply for promotion in proportions that match the composition of men and women at grades below. For example, in a particular grade you might have 60% women and 40% men. In that case, the pool of candidates who apply for promotion from that grade to a more senior grade should also be 60% women and 40% men. If, for example, only 20% of the applicants were women, the gender imbalance would be more likely to worsen at the higher grade, meaning fewer women in senior roles and a bigger gender pay gap.
Identifying gender imbalances within your promotion process
To identify whether this is an issue in your organisation, look at the proportion of women from a given grade or role applying for promotions, making it through to any assessment stage or shortlist, and being selected for promotion. Is this proportion lower than you would expect, given the proportion of women at that grade or in that role?
If you have internal recruitment processes (such as those where employees apply to open vacancies), look at these processes separately to see if there are any imbalances as candidates progress through the stages.
Example of gender imbalance in the promotion process, by stage
50% of the applicant pool are women 50% of the applicant pool are men
40% of the applicants are women 60% of the applicants are men
30% of the assessment are women 70% of the assessment are men
25% of the selected are women 75% of the selected are men
Are women not making it through short-listing processes or assessment rounds? If so, why? Are your promotion processes clear and transparent so that bias cannot creep in and affect them? Are senior staff and hiring managers held accountable for hiring decisions by someone whose responsibility it is to monitor equality and diversity, such as a diversity officer, as well as by your leadership team?