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.

Published 17 April 2020

From: Government Equalities Office

Are women more likely to be recruited into lower paid roles in your organisation?

If women tend to enter your organisation at more junior levels, or if women are less likely to be hired when they apply to join your organisation at higher levels, this will impact your gender pay gap.

To work out if this is a problem in your organisation:

  • Look at the proportion of women applying for positions and see if there are gender imbalances at different grades/levels.

  • For each grade/level, consider if the proportion of women is decreasing throughout the following processes:

    • applying for positions

    • making it through to any assessment stage or shortlist - being selected

    • accepting roles

Example of gender imbalance by recruitment process, by seniority

Gender imbalance by recruitment process by seniority Lower level 50% women hired Bottom middle level 55% women hired Upper middle level 45% women hired Top level 34% women hired

If you find a gender imbalance in your recruitment process:
  • Examine your recruitment routes.

    How transparent are the processes?

  • Understand how the potential applicant pool in your field or industry compares to your applicants.

    For example, if 45% of people with appropriate qualifications and experience in your industry are women, but only 25% of your applicants are women, why might this be?

  • Look at ways to widen your potential applicant pool by re‐thinking structural issues that can have a larger effect in preventing women from doing particular jobs.

    For example, do these jobs allow flexible working, so that people with caring responsibilities can do them? Can you help more women to get the required qualifications? If you use recruitment agencies, ask them to provide you with long‐lists which include a certain minimum number of women. However, do take legal advice if you are considering positive action to benefit women (or men), to ensure that there is no unlawful discrimination.