Food for thought on gender pay gap and inclusion at PwC breakfast briefing

In a year dominated by Brexit, gender pay gap reporting garnered just as many headlines on the business pages in 2018 reflecting the complexity and importance of both issues, and the government's key role in highlighting and overcoming the challenges women face in the workplace.

Screenshot from presentation at gender pay briefing
This observation from Elysia McCaffrey, deputy director of the Government Equalities Office, opened up the Pwc’s breakfast event at its Birmingham office and provided the backdrop for five unique and valuable perspectives on what companies and organisations are doing to help bridge the gap. It also underscored the imperative for businesses to do more to ensure fairness at work.The multiple-viewpoint format underlined that there is no silver bullet to building better gender-balanced businesses and incomes, but that action on many fronts are slowly delivering rewards for talent attraction and retention, leadership pipelines, flexibility – and for both men and women – and shine a light on the many micro-decisions and assumptions that daily make an impact on the opportunities available to individuals.

The business case for diverse and inclusive companies

Elysia McCaffrey was joined by host Sarah Churchman (Pwc’s chief inclusion & wellbeing officer), Anne Hurst (senior diversity & inclusion and employee wellbeing specialist at Pwc), Leigh Lafever Ayer (HR director – UK and Ireland – at Enterprise Holdings), Jacqueline Field, (global head of resourcing & employer branding at Vodafone) and Kaammini Chanrai (gender research and policy manager at Business in the Community) at the event geared to sharing insights that work.Before introducing each panellist, Sarah Churchman restated the business case for better gender-balanced businesses.Noting that a girl born today will earn on average less in their lifetime than a boy and that companies with more diverse leadership and boards perform better, she underlined the valuable role of sharing insight and action planning. 

Action at every level

Ms Churchman’s colleague, Anne Hurst, talked through Pwc’s journey towards closing its gender pay gap, which it reported along with 10,000 other UK employers of 250 or more employees for the first time last year as part of new legislation.Explaining Pwc’s three-priority plan, Ms Hurst highlighted how the company’s actions work at every level of the business and have an external as well as an internal focus. This is taking Pwc to new audiences and places in its recruitment practices, and seeing it incentivise partners financially for operationalising its priorities and plans around inclusion.

Embedding inclusion into global talent planning and resourcing

Fascinating particularly from a global talent planning perspective, Jacqueline Field, who has a decade of experience in oil and gas recruitment, looked through the gender pay gap through the lens of inclusion more widely, including neurodiversity.Her innovative work today is about how AI is helping to debias systems and deliver more optimal candidate shortlists. This approach is helping to create a better balance during the attraction and recruitment process and in a way that is relevant and appropriate to local resourcing teams at Vodafone around the world.Critically from the wider perspective of talent management and employer brand within that, AI is deployed in lockstep with individuals in the company’s employee experience team.

Moving the debate forward

Perhaps as exciting as the developments in AI and company-wide action plans – such as that also outlined by car-hire company Enterprise UK & Ireland’s Leigh Lafever Ayer – is the move towards engaging men and people who identify as LGBTQ+ much more in the debate, which both Relocate Global’s Think People and Think Women communities address.Kaammini Chanrai of Business in the Community looked at the hot topic of shared parental leave and how flexible working can better support men balance their working and family responsibilities.Studies show a groundswell of support for reforms to existing shared parental leave rights. This could help to bring forward the estimate from the Government Equalities Office that the gender pay gap, all things being equal, will only be eradicated by 2052.As events like these show, the range and diversity of initiatives to create more inclusive workplaces is growing. Given the depth of knowledge now available, the time has never been more right to get involved, share and learn more about what organisations can do to support employees better and reap the rewards.

Join Relocate Global and our Think Women community for an interactive morning at the International Women’s Day Lunch on Friday 8th March. Book tickets.

Enter the 2019 Relocate Awards in-text bannerSubscribe to Relocate Extra, our monthly newsletter, to get all the latest international assignments and global mobility news.Relocate’s new Global Mobility Toolkit provides free information, practical advice and support for HR, global mobility managers and global teams operating overseas.Global Mobility Toolkit download factsheets resource centreAccess hundreds of global services and suppliers in our Online DirectoryClick to get to the Relocate Global Online Directory

Related Articles