PwC comments on gender pay gap regulations

Published at 08:55 AM on 09 December 2016

In response to the Government’s gender pay gap regulations, Laura Hinton, executive board member and head of people at PwC, said:

“The current rate of progress towards closing the gender pay gap is too slow and gender pay gap reporting is an important step towards tackling both the symptoms and causes of gender inequality in the workplace.

“Publishing pay data alone won’t change anything - progress will only happen if organisations use this as an opportunity to understand what’s happening in their business and make some fundamental changes as a result. Bold action is needed to create true equality in the workplace. For the first time, we will have comparable gender pay gap figures across organisations which will be a useful tool to drive accountability and action.

“At PwC, publishing our gender pay gap has allowed us to understand the reasons for the gap and hold ourselves accountable to make changes. For example, we know that a sizeable part of our pay gap is a result of having fewer women in senior positions, so this is an area where we continue to focus our efforts. We’re also challenging our recruitment processes, making more senior jobs available on a flexible or part-time basis, and have introduced a return to work programme.

“In our experience there is no silver bullet and the gender pay gap is just one data point that organisations should be tracking as part of their overall efforts to create a workplace that works for all.”

Ed Stacey, head of employment law at PwC, said:

“Businesses will be pleased to receive clarity from the publication of the final version of the regulations.  They now have a relatively short window in which to consider these regulations before taking a snapshot of their employee data in April 2017.  There remain some complexities for business over the interpretation of which employees and what elements of pay fall within the regulations. Employers should be considering these as soon as possible to ensure that they accurately capture their true gender pay position."

Jon Terry, reward partner, said:

“This is an opportunity for companies to tell their story about how they are addressing gender pay inequality and thinking about fairness and diversity in the workplace.  Organisations should go on the front foot and produce more detailed disclosures that contextualise the numbers.

“It is important for firms to look at the root causes of the issue, which may be areas such as performance reviews and starting salaries for new hires, and identify where they can make short-term and longer-term changes. This will mean analysing data by grade, location and function to spot where issues are arising.   

"Some sectors will have significantly higher pay gaps, For example in financial services and technology, where we expect there will be a number of firms with pay gaps exceeding 50%. Clearly, it will be important for the whole sector, and these firms in particular, to not only explain the numbers, but also be clear about what their actions are to close the pay gap. This will be a significant challenge for some.

“We are supportive of the gender pay reporting requirements, as it will put a spotlight on firms, and encourage them to put greater priority on solving the issues. We also encourage all firms to look at the gender pay gap as part of their wider diversity and inclusion challenges.”

 

ENDS

Notes to Editor:

  1. You can view PwC's gender pay gap and what we're doing in response in our annual report here
  2. For interview requests please contact Amy Tiernan, 020 7804 0556 or amy.tiernan@pwc.com

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