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Stop minding the gender pay gap, start closing it.

Stop minding the gender pay gap, start closing it.

Mark.Freed / 20 Apr 2018

How E2W is changing the industry and how it could help you.

The gender pay gap reporting is complete for this year.  Will things change by 2018?  We have some ideas on how the figures could look differently next year.

I am delighted that the April deadline for Gender Pay Gap reporting is behind us. The figures are telling us what we already knew – that in April 2017 in most sectors of the financial services industry the top jobs are predominantly held my men. 

Some companies are the vanguard though and it’s great to see so many of E2W’s clients amongst them!  Perhaps not surprising given that E2W work with firms who are committed to gender diversity – wherever they are on the journey. 

Some institutions really need to join the gender diversity party if their figures are to look any different next year.  Perhaps the last year or so has been used to implement strategies and next year, their reporting will reflect those plans – let’s hope so.

So what strategies should firms be putting in place? There is no silver bullet or instant answer so leaders in the field are, with E2W’s help, putting in place complex strategies to ensure that when they report in April 2020 they can show real progress – hopefully toward 50/50 by 2020.

The four cornerstones to move the dial are: Commitment, Recruitment, Culture / Working Practices and Pipeline. 

Let’s look at each:

  1. Commitment. This needs to come from the board. Is gender diversity on the board and exco agendas at every meeting? Who has responsibility for gender diversity? Have they set targets? How are targets apportioned to those who can make a difference? How are they measured, and progress monitored? Has a budget been set aside? What is it being spent on? What is the diversity of the board and exco?  The message about gender diversity needs to come from the board and excos loud and clear and they need to practice what they preach.  
  2. Recruitment.  The adage that if you do things in the same old way you get the same old results certainly holds true in the well-oiled machine that is today’s modern recruitment process. Well-oiled machines are more often than not designed by men and mostly benefit men.  Firms need to re-engineer recruitment taking on board E2W’s Eight  Recruitment Strategies for Financial Institutions to Meet their Gender Diversity Targets
  3. Culture and Working Practices. This means creating a modern, flexible, agile and supportive environment where everyone can contribute, be recognised and reach their full potential. What are the opportunities for flexible working and parental leave? Does the culture support diversity of thought or is their bias (unconscious) towards one group?   
  4. Pipeline – Are strategies in place to encourage women into the industry, particularly in disciplines where addressing the gender gap is most urgent – technology and front office?  Are strategies in place to ensure that women succeed – mentoring, coaching, supporting high potentials. 

These four cornerstones are complementary and interconnecting. They all need to be implemented to move the dial. 
Over the coming months E2W will be analysing firms in the sector using these four cornerstones. In doing so we will be highlighting to our members those firms with a commitment to gender diversity and who are therefore potentially the best places for them to pursue their careers.  The same reports will be made available to the firms to help them on their way to a better industry and society. 

 Gender diversity is our business; make it yours. 

If you would like to discuss strategies to achieve greater gender divserity, please contact me, Mark Freed.  

Mark Freed is CEO of E2W, the company that he set up with Tina twenty years ago to address the issue of gender diversity.  He is passionate about gender parity and encourages more men to join the campaign.  

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