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

Do men and women leave your organisation at different rates?

If women are leaving your organisation more quickly than men, this could contribute to your gender pay gap, especially if this is occurring in more highly-paid positions.

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

Look at the percentage of women and men leaving your organisation each year, by seniority level. Make sure to look at the proportion of women leaving relative to the proportion of women in that grade.

For example, you might find that 20% of the women in a particular grade left over the last year, whereas only 10% of men in that grade left over the last year.

Example of gender imbalance by employee exit rates, and seniority level

Top level (highest paid)

43% of the top level (highest paid) are women

25% of the top level (highest paid) are men

Upper middle level

25% of the upper middle level are women

25% of the upper middle level are men

Bottom middle level

12% of the bottom middle level are women

20% of the bottom middle level are men

Lower level (lowest paid)

10% of the lower level (lowest paid) are women

12% of the lower level (lowest paid) are men

If you find a gender imbalance in employee exit rates:
  • Conduct a staff survey to identify issues around retention.

    Staff surveys can be invaluable in identifying differences in engagement, aspirations to progress or feelings of belonging, which may impact retention.

    Analyse results by gender, and consider adding additional questions to help you get to the root of issues. Also, information from exit interviews – if delivered independently and in confidence – are likely to be useful.

  • Check whether there are structural issues that may influence people’s perceptions of how successful they can be at your organisation.

    For example, if senior positions are not offered with flexible working arrangements, people with caring responsibilities may not feel they can apply. This could result in talented people feeling that they cannot develop and succeed within your organisation, causing them to leave.