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Put on your Thinking Gap

Monday April 09, 2018


Posted on: Monday April 09, 2018

What to talk about when you’re talking gender pay.

Last week we spoke about the link between salary and happiness and detailed some of the common causes of the gender happiness and pay gaps. If you missed the article, you can view it here.

If you want to fully understand the causes of the discrepancies in your own company, then here are four key questions that you need to ask. 

Key Questions to Ask

1.      What does the gender breakdown look like within each pay bracket?

If there are more women than men in lower pay brackets, and fewer in the higher paid roles, then this is likely a reason for the gender pay gap. It is important not to assume that it is simply a lack of desire on the part of women to be employed in those roles, as there can be many other reasons for the disparity. 

If this is the situation in your company, there are several steps you can take to help reduce this gender divide. 

2.      What are the variations in market rates of pay between functions?

If there are differences in the market rates of pay between functions, this can be a contributing factor to a pay imbalance if these functions are either predominantly male or female. 

It is also important to look closely at how you address the gender balance across the functions, as this could be another reason for a difference in pay.

3.      How diverse is your hiring pool?

The pay gap often starts at the recruitment stage, where, although you may be unaware of it, unconscious bias is prominent. One of the strongest bias we have in the workplace is gender bias, as our feelings about gender and the stereotypes we’ve all associated with gender are internalised at a young age. They can be affected by how we’ve been brought up, our socialisation and media influences.  

If there is frequently only one woman in your final candidate pool then the odds of hiring a woman are 79 times less than if there were another woman, even for jobs that were traditionally seen as ‘feminine’ (the ‘two in the pool’ affect). 

4.      Do you offer part-time employment or job sharing as an option? If so, who mostly commonly requests this option?

Research has shown that women are far more likely to ask for flexible working over a pay rise compared to men. There could be many explanations for this, but the most commonly accepted is that most women are still the primary carer for their children. If you do not offer part time or job sharing this may be contributing to the lack of women in certain roles. If you do offer this and it is primarily women who are working part time in your organisation, this can be a major contributing factor to the pay gap.

This article is part of a series discussing the issues of gender pay and happiness in the workplace. Articles will be published weekly. 

Download the full report

To coincide with our gender pay gap report, we also surveyed over 1200 UK employees about their happiness, enthusiasm, pride, and efficiency at work.
If you want to know more about our findings then download the full report below. 


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