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 particular aspects of pay (such as starting salaries and bonuses) differ by gender?

As part of gender pay gap reporting, you need to report information about the proportion of men and women receiving bonuses. Under the Equality Act 2010, employers must also ensure they are providing equal compensation for equal work. Analysing information about equal pay and bonuses can help you identify whether particular aspects of pay might be contributing to your gender pay gap.

You should examine whether men and women doing comparable work receive different bonuses, pay for unsociable hours, or overtime.

Do men and women have different starting salaries for similar jobs in your organisation?

Another aspect of pay that can contribute to the gender pay gap is women having lower starting salaries than men doing similar jobs. This may be a problem for you if you allow negotiation of starting salaries, as some research has found that women are less likely to negotiate their pay than men, and that when women do negotiate their pay, they can be judged more harshly than men for doing so. These things mean that women’s starting salaries might end up being lower than that of men doing the same job.

To check whether this is a problem in your organisation, compare starting salaries by gender within comparable roles.

If you find a gender imbalance associated with pay:
  • Introduce clear and fair processes for setting salaries and be transparent about these processes.

    Where possible, communicate salary ranges, and indicate whether salaries are negotiable or not. This will provide a clear signal to all parties involved about whether or not it is acceptable to ask for more. This can put women and men on a more even footing.

  • Review how the different aspects of pay are allocated with your organisation.

    Consider if your processes clear and transparent. And if people being held accountable when allocating them.