Top Tips to close the gender pay equity gap. Now.

We all know that (sadly) men on average are paid more.

Within engineering and architecture, our last Diversity Agenda Accord survey in 2020 showed the Gender Pay Gap to be 19%, with firms working out their gap by adding up all the combined salaries by gender.

A common response we hear to this gap is “well, it’s just a generational thing as most senior leaders are men so that bumps up the combined salary”. 

Now, we could make the case that it shouldn’t and doesn’t have to take a generation to change – but let’s save that for another Top Tips.

For now, let’s dig deeper to discover the Gender Pay Equity Gap. That is, looking closer within firms to evaluate pay discrepancies by gender on a like-for-like job role basis. Because let’s be honest, there’s no excuse for this one…

A warning: it’s not pretty reading. Across our Accord signatory firms, the gender pay equity gap stands at a 14% gap. So men on average are getting paid 14% more for doing exactly the same job as their female and gender diverse colleagues.

The same job. For more money. Just because? Well, in many cases probably just because of their gender. So what can you do about it? You can close that gap. And here’s how…

Power up your HR Team or whoever’s in charge of staff and their pay.

It’ll take time and effort to review and change your Gender Pay Equity Gap. So make sure there’s sufficient time given to your HR workload so they can focus on the task at hand.

Measure.

Go through and group all your employers based on their role. Then make a report which documents all of their salaries. Then split your employees up by gender: Men / Women / Gender diverse.

Review.

Look at each individual role and check to see if there are pay discrepancies.

Investigate.

Where you find instances of differences in pay within the same role, go to the direct manager and check to see if there are justifiable variances to the individuals, and no we don’t mean by tenure. 

We mean actual differences in the job they carry out. Are there extra responsibilities, additional hours or anything else which could point to the difference in remuneration?

Resolve.

After carrying out your investigations, where you cannot determine any valid reason for the difference in salary, then you know what to do… Change it. Immediately.

Keep measuring.

Make it a regular part of your HR workload by scheduling 6 or 12 monthly reviews to re-examine how the team is stacking up. Because fixing an issue is one thing, but making sure it doesn’t happen again is another. This leads us to the final tip…

Change the way you do business.

If you have a gender pay equity gap and cannot give a good reason why, then it’s time to make sure things like your recruitment process, pay reviews, promotion policy etc aren’t letting you down. Particularly to that pesky unconscious bias that can seep into decision making.


Become an Accord signatory now and be a part of our first Accord summit in May, where you can pick the brains of some of the most inspiring leaders in our professions. 

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