Reinstate Gender Pay Gap Reporting

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We are petitioning the Rt. Hon. Elizabeth Truss, Minister for Women & Equalities to reinstate Mandatory Gender Pay Gap Reporting and we back the Women & Equalities Select Committee recommendation that mandatory reporting for the financial years 2019/20 and 2020/21 is required in April 2021. 

As WACL (Women in Advertising & Communications Leadership) we represent the most senior female leaders in our industry today and we are hugely concerned about the negative impact on working women in the UK not reinstating mandatory GPG reporting will have.   

The Covid pandemic has disproportionately affected women in the workplace with research showing that women are more likely to work in shut-down sectors, are at greater risk of job losses and are taking on the majority of housework and childcare.   GPG data has repeatedly shown that there are still far too few women progressing into senior management and leadership positions and worryingly, McKinsey research has identified that the pressures of the pandemic are driving some women to consider scaling back or leaving their careers.  It's crucial for organisations to better support, retain and promote women; this begins with analysing their pay data and developing quality action plans with employees.

We acknowledge the current pressure on many businesses brought about by Covid-19, but shelving mandatory GPG reporting will not alleviate that pressure. By contrast, in countries where it remains mandatory, there is strong evidence to prove mandatory GPG reporting works: a study in Denmark not only found a statistically significant increase in the total number of companies reporting and a narrowing of the Gender Pay Gap, it also showed that profitability in those firms remained unaffected by the legislation, likely because it led to increased productivity.  In fact a recent UK (GEO, 2019) study of 900 employers who reported their Gender Pay Gap found the majority were more likely as a consequence of GPG reporting to put the kind of robust diversity & inclusion strategies in place that are proven to enhance performance.

As the Government prepares its plans to re-open the economy and build back better, achieving gender balance throughout organisations must be front of mind.  Decades of work to close the gender pay gap is at stake if this flagship report is shelved.  No measurement means no management & vitally needed focus will reduce on essential workplace initiatives needed to close both pay & role gaps, further entrenching existing gender inequality in our economy.