Why closing the gender pay gap is good for business

September 13, 2019

Gender Pay Gap Scales

While the gender pay gap is smaller than a decade ago, a collection of top New Zealand business people are working hard to reduce it further. CEOs and Chairs from companies such as IBM, Saatchi and Saatchi, PwC and Vector have joined Champions for Change. Together, they’re advocating for greater inclusion and diversity within their own organisation, sector, and the wider public arena. Why? Because creating gender balanced workplaces is not only the right thing to do, it’s the smart thing to do.

What are the business benefits of closing the pay gap?

  • Good for your bottom line. Research shows the most gender-diverse companies are 21% more likely to experience above-average profitability.
  • Good for your brand. People will be attracted to buy from you and work for you, if you’re committed to equal pay and a diverse and inclusive workplace.
  • Great for brain power. A gender balance ensures multiple perspectives, which sparks creativity and innovation.
  • Great for sales. A diverse workforce better represents your customers, which means you’ll communicate with them more effectively.

So, does your business have a gender pay gap?

Look at your people data; how many men and women work for you? Are there more men at senior levels or in roles that lead to senior positions? What’s the difference in pay between all men and all women? Once you know where your problems lie, you can start fixing them.

Four smart ways to address the pay gap

  • Lead from the top: Everything you say, do, measure, and prioritise impacts your business’s culture. Treat gender diversity as a business priority. Help build a respectful, accepting workplace where everyone feels safe and supported.
  • Make a plan to make a difference: Carry out a pay equity audit, set yourself a target, then put aside money to review and address the issues. Look at all levels of your business, from the way you advertise jobs to professional development opportunities.
  • Be aware of bias: Around 80% of the gender pay gap is driven by hard-to–measure factors, including bias, which often creep in when making recruitment, performance and pay decisions. Make decisions based on transparent, performance-related criteria, have group sign off, and use gender-neutral language in job descriptions.
  • Get flexible: Tap into a bigger talent pool by showing you support employees on, and returning from, parental leave. Consider ways people can work from home, condensed hours, flexi-time and job share.