Tonight is the deadline for the second year of mandatory gender pay gap reporting and still, thousands of companies are yet to disclose their figures.

So far, according to the BBC, from the companies that have reported:

  • 78% report a pay gap which favours men
  • 13% have a pay gap favouring women
  • 8% report no pay gap.

PWC found that the majority of reported companies have seen an improvement in their mean hourly pay gaps. However, the mean bonus pay gaps have worsened at over 70% at these organisations.

As the results are coming in, it is becoming evident that focusing on broader diversity and inclusion initiatives should be at the top of businesses’ agenda.

Here are Equality Group‘s four practical steps for companies to close the gap:

 1. Reward employees for all their contributions at the firm

Often women are doing the “extra-curricular” roles of mentoring, hiring, research projects, programme initiatives, team building work etc. Usually, it is taken for granted and is not appropriately reflected in bonuses.

2. Make hiring and promotion fair

Have targets around gender balanced hiring and promotion and have everyone on the board aligned around this. Help your team to understand that the quickest way to close the gap is to have more women in senior positions.

3. Sponsor and mentor women 

Ensure that there are mentoring and sponsorship schemes in place. Help the staff to progress in their careers as that will improve the retention of female talent.

4. Train women and encourage them to negotiate

Allow women to be confident and bold. Create a space where women feel comfortable to ask for what they need, make this something that is encouraged and applauded, rather than awkward and dreaded.

While it feels like we are far away from closing the gap with relentless tenacity and practical solutions, we can see change.