The Berwick Partners HR practice hosted a HR Leadership breakfast seminar in conjunction with PwC on 4th July 2017. Held at Arley Hall in Cheshire, HR leaders from the North West came together for a seminar and discussion about Gender Pay reporting.
Emma Robertson and Phil Cartwright, from PwC’s Reward and Employment team led the discussions, offering insight on both the practicalities of reporting and areas to consider when analysing and presenting the data externally.
Our clients’ views were that the gender pay gap is most prominent in mid-management positions, which was supported by data from PwC. The primary reason for this is that there is not the scrutiny of executive positions nor the structured salary bands typical amongst more junior employees.
Following the seminar there was a wide ranging discussion that covered a number of themes including potential reputational impacts where gaps do exist, the narrative around why gaps exist and what is being done to address them. On this last point the view was that despite structural challenges in certain industries companies need to focus on diversity in their hiring, creating a gender friendly culture and that employers need to reconsider their annual pay review process as the typical approach of applying a percentage increase will only exacerbate any gaps.
The discussion concluded with PwC saying that although many of their clients are nervous about publishing their results - the gap is the gap. The key is to be able to demonstrate the progress being made in narrowing it in when next year’s results are published.
Basil leRoux is a Partner and leads the HR Practice at Berwick Partners