10 ways to close the gender pay gap

Today, Stats NZ Tatauranga Aotearoa released New Zealand’s latest gender pay gap figure and at 9.2% it’s the second lowest ever since measurement began in 1998. While we welcome the news that it has gone down, it is disappointing to see it reducing at such a glacial pace. It is 2018, 125 years since New Zealand women won the right to vote, and it is time to close the gap.

Here are 10 actions to close the gender pay gap in your organisation:

1. Get the data: facts are your friends

You need evidence to support your case. You need a baseline to measure progress. So create dashboards with key metrics for unbiased reporting. Don’t forget to appeal to hearts and minds; use the facts you find to tell you your stories.

2. Measure the pay gap horizontally and vertically

Comparing salaries by role is a start. But to really make an impact you need to look at whether females and ethnic minorities are over represented in the lower paying roles in your organisation.

3. Review gender pay equity at the same time as performance reviews

Not before, not after.

4. Look beyond the salary

When analysing your pay gap, be sure to look at the total rewards package, including bonus and benefits, and not just salary.

5. Award one-off adjustments…

Although ‘plugging the gap’ is not a long-term solution, it can be useful as a one-off exercise to fix discrepancies in pay. If there are concerns about cost, take the long-term view: you can’t afford not to close the pay gap.

6. And be curious about why there is a gap

One-off adjustments are the equivalent of patching a leaky bucket. To get on top of your pay gap you need to take a step back and look at the big picture. Hiring practices, growth and mobility, the way you work: which of these are contributing to pay inequity? Go beyond a tick box exercise and get underneath the surface.

7. Factor in unconscious bias when recruiting

Challenge your organisational unconscious bias by using blind CVs and ensuring that you have a diverse shortlist for every role. All male shortlist? Try again. Use online software to rewrite the gender bias out of your job description and advertise in different places to the past.

8. Use a merit matrix

A merit matrix factors in performance and ranking amongst colleagues. By keeping all salaries linked to performance and within a given range, your pay rises will be equitably allocated.

9. Push women through the pipeline

If you want to get women into leadership, you have to start early. If you are losing talented women, find out why and do something about it.

10. E kuhu!

No matter where your organisation is on its diversity and inclusion journey, get going now. In the words of Nicola Richardson of Genesis, ‘Start somewhere, but just get started.’