Wales’s leading gender equality charity, Chwarae Teg, has said that employers should view gender pay gap reporting as an opportunity to tackle inequalities in order to make their business more resilient and fit for the future. The charity argued that by reporting their gender pay gap businesses will be able to identify where they need to take action in order to create a more equal workforce which can often result in increased productivity and staff retention and reduced sick leave.
Chwarae Teg chief executive Cerys Furlong said:
“The gender pay gap is just one indicator and doesn’t tell the whole story but reporting and analysing the gap can be a useful tool for businesses to identify inequalities in their workforce and take action to tackle them. It is an opportunity to look at an organisation and understand why women aren’t progressing in the same way as men and to make changes to recruitment processes, culture and working practices so that the business can make the most of the talent and potential of its whole workforce. We know that businesses that have a more balanced workforce are more resilient and more productive meaning that they will be in a better position to navigate any future economic difficulties.
“Equality is not a ‘nice-to-have’, it’s an economic ‘must-have’. Recent research from Chwarae Teg shows that achieving gender equality could add almost £14billion to the Welsh economy.
“Chwarae Teg has been working with smaller businesses over a number of years to help them develop and implement strategies to develop a more diverse workforce with our Agile Nation 2 programme which is fully funded by the European Social Fund and Welsh Government. We have found that companies who take part in our programmes can reap huge rewards in terms of increased productivity, improved staff retention rates and reduced sickness leave after implementing relatively simple measures which enable female employees to thrive. We also support larger employers and businesses from across Wales who subscribe to our FairPlay Employer service, and help them understand the causes of their gender pay gaps. We work with them to develop individually tailored strategies to reduce and eventually eliminate the gap. Changes to recruitment processes, adopting more modern and flexible working practices, moving from a culture of presenteeism to one based on outcomes and results, and building the skills and confidence of employees all help to significantly narrow the gap. Everybody wins with a more diverse and equal workforce. The environment of the workplace is improved, businesses become more productive and the wider economy benefits from the increased tax take too. It’s estimated that closing the gender pay gap would lead to a £150bn increase to the UK’s GDP and an 8% growth in the Welsh economy.
“Chwarae Teg’s message to businesses publishing and reporting their gender pay gap figures this month is for them not to be afraid, and instead to take this opportunity to take stock and to make small but important changes that will make you more productive, more successful and make your workforce happier too!”
For more information on Chwarae Teg’s FairPlay Employer service and how it can help your business to reduce its gender pay gap go to www.cteg.org.uk/fairplayemployer or contact [email protected]