WACL (Women in Advertising and Communications) is campaigning for the reinstatement of mandatory Gender Pay Gap reporting, which the UK government is reviewing for the second year in a row.
Decades of work to close the Gender Pay Gap is at stake if this flagship report is shelved. Gender Pay Gap reporting actively contributes to a more equal society and in a post-Covid-19 world, a commitment to reinstating this flagship annual report has become more critical than ever.
WACL’s campaign drives people to a petition ( http://chng.it/vRG9cNWkH7) through striking messages posted on social media and on outdoor sites. Free t-shirts and Zoom backgrounds will also be distributed to supporters of the cause to help them make their voices heard.
Jackie Stevenson, the President of WACL, has issued a joint statement with the Fawcett Society and the Chartered Management Institute to lay out the benefits of equality to both business and society. Its arguments for the reinstatement of Gender Pay Gap reporting include:
- McKinsey’s research demonstrates that tackling gender inequality in the workforce is vital issue for productivity – they estimate a £150bn benefit to UK GDP if the performance of every region on gender equality in the workplace was raised to that of the best.
- The gender pay gap is partly driven by a lack of women at the top and research from across the private sector routinely demonstrates that more diverse teams, including teams with a more even share of women, perform more effectively than teams which are homogenous: from research and design teams in Spain, which are more innovative with women members2 to senior management boards across the UK and North and South America, that are more likely to grow if they are gender diverse.
- A recent study of the introduction of mandatory Gender Pay Gap reporting in the UK found that of a 3% decrease in men’s hourly Pay resulted in a 5% increase in the probability of women earning above median wages. The study also found evidence that the reporting resulted in occupations with higher Gender Pay Gaps demonstrating more women-friendly hiring practices.
- The Government Equalities Office (GEO) surveyed 900 employers who did Gender Pay Gap reporting in 2019. The majority believed that mandatory Gender Pay Gap reporting provided a platform for increased focus on wider equality and diversity within their organisation and seven in ten said it has increased awareness of Gender Pay issues within the workplace.”
On International Women’s Day, March 8, 2021, WACL and CMI will host a joint workshop and panel for business leaders, moderated by Ann Francke, CEO of the CMI, with the goal of helping businesses understand the positive impact of reporting their Gender Pay Gap, walk through the steps they need to take to do so, and then write a strategy to address it.
Gender Pay Gap reporting was first introduced in 2017, but was suspended last year ahead of the 5th April deadline because of Covid-19. The government has not committed to reinstating it this year, despite the fact that Covid-19’s effect on business has disproportionately impacted women. Gender Pay Gap reporting is more crucial than ever if the inequalities intensified by Covid-19 are to be addressed.
WACL, whose purpose is to accelerate gender equality and to inspire women in their careers, believes that no measurement means no management. Suspending this vital reporting process will eliminate transparency, reduce essential workplace initiatives needed to close pay gaps, and further entrench existing gender inequality in our economy.
Because of its belief that equality is good for business and society, WACL is also campaigning for mandatory Ethnicity and Disability Pay Gap reporting. WACL shares the Equality & Human Rights Commission’s view that “Pay Gaps reflect broader inequalities in society and tackling them is an important way to achieve a fairer society.”
Flexible working is another powerful lever of equality and has a proven, direct impact on reducing the Gender Pay Gap. For this reason, WACL’s #FlexibleFirst campaign is supporting the Women & Equalities Select Committee recommendation that the UK government amends the Flexible Working Regulations 2014, to remove the 26-weeks’ service threshold for employees to request flexible working arrangements.