Engaging employees with gender pay

Posted in Employee on 9 April 2018 By Darryl Mead, Head of Employee Communications and Engagement

On 4 April 2018, all organisations with over 250 employees based in the UK were required to report their gender pay gap figures.

A focus on pay is a perfect time to engage and inform employees as well as other stakeholders, even if you don't currently have a great story to tell.

Why engage employees?

Gender pay matters to all employees, because pay is personal. It's often about how employees translate their value at work. Gender pay is part of diversity and the report signals progress and intentions around diversity and fairness. 

It's an opportunity to share stories with existing employees and new talent. Stories about different people, perspectives and experiences. Attracting top talent to join, stay and perform at their best is high on most leaders' agendas.

Being a diverse, inclusive place to work is now an expectation, not just an added bonus. It should reflect your customers and suppliers. It's an opportunity for genuine transparency, to build trust. So, think about creating a workplace where people can belong and thrive.

There's real value in a diverse workplace

  • Companies with a gender and ethnically diverse executive board generated ROE (returns on equity) that were 53% higher on average than the companies in the bottom diversity quartile.*
  • More diverse businesses also generated a 14% higher EBIT on average.* 
  • Large-cap companies with at least one woman on the board have outperformed their peer group with no women on the board by 26% over the last six years.** 
  • Companies with the highest overall engagement scores do not yet have a gender gap. Women and men at all levels are equally engaged. Yet companies with lower overall engagement show a notable gender gap.*** 

What next?

You've met the requirements on gender pay reporting, published a report externally which conveys your key messages and developed an action plan or initiatives to address the gaps.

Emperor's top tips for engaging with your employees

  1. Make sure your employees understand the gender pay gap and what it means for them. Use appropriate materials and channels to get your message across.
  2. Publish your action plan internally as well as externally – remember you'll need to report progress next year.
  3. Engage and involve employees with your diversity initiatives, networks and communities – to demonstrate that everyone belongs.
  4. Make sure your values and supporting behaviours are aligned to creating an inclusive workplace.
  5. Encourage leaders and managers to have conversations with their teams. Support them first – to be role models and answer questions.
  6. Make it easy for employees to access information and policies. Link via your intranet or in social discussions.
  7. Make sure your employer brand truly supports and demonstrates diversity.
  8. Review your recruiting practices. Are they inclusive, gender neutral and supporting your policies?
  9. Think about how you might address an ethnicity pay gap.

How Emperor can help

Emperor is a leader in the new area of gender pay reporting. We've helped clients to understand and communicate their data and produced reports for a wide range of companies including Merlin Entertainments, Manchester Airport Group and Channel 4. Engaging employees with gender pay and diversity and inclusion is the next step. We have experience in delivering programmes to attract, retain and engage employees.

Here are some examples:

  • Our work developing an employer brand for A.G. Barr was values-led and focused on behaviours and people stories.
  • We helped Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council with an integrated recruitment campaign to fill a diverse range of positions as part of a new, overarching strategy that will ultimately reform and transform the way they serve the children, young people and families of Rotherham.


* McKinsey
** Credit Suisse
***Boston Consulting Group



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