Duncan Brown, head of HR consultancy at the Institute for Employment Studies guest blogs for FDM on the gender pay gap and what lessons employers can learn in order to close their own gaps.
FDM Group was the sixth employer to publish its figures under the new reporting requirement. Published today, our second case study in this area analyses the success of FDM in achieving a zero per cent median gender pay gap. The case study, based on our recent research with FDM, portrays a particularly impressive situation, given that the company operates in the technology sector where, on average, a 25 per cent median wage gap exists.
The case study, based on internal qualitative research and an external evidence review, identifies six key factors that have led to FDM Group’s success in virtually eliminating its gender pay gap. These are:
- investing in talent
- appropriate HR and diversity policies
- measurement and monitoring
- an open, high-communications culture; and
- a multi-pronged approach
Sheila Flavell, FDM Chief Operating Officer, summarised the Company’s approach to us as follows: ‘We would be working towards gender gap equality regardless of the new regulations. Our model takes the best people, regardless of background and gives them training and skills, making a diverse workforce a fundamental tenet of our business model and culture.’
A recent in-depth evidence review for the Equality and Human Rights Commission by IES highlighted actions such as internal pay transparency; providing training and qualifications for women (particularly in the STEM subject areas); and measures to drive and support senior female representation.
Yet the effect of any one intervention is generally small and highly context dependant. Closing gender pay gaps seems to require a wide variety of initiatives at both state and employer levels, reinforcing a culture of diversity and equality in which there is an absence of gender pay gaps. This is why individual examples are so important and useful. You can’t copy the formula and culture from any single company but you learn a lot from studying how others have made progress.