As a business-to-business journalist, and a woman, I think and write a lot about the disparity in the workplace between men and women. As a journalist in the HR sphere, I think about it almost daily. And one of the things that perennially plagues me is the question, “How do we close the gender pay gap?”
The answer, as one HR data analyst I interviewed, succinctly put it, “Is to simply start paying women more”. If only it were that easy! (It is, of course.)
But as we all know, there are reasons women don't get paid more – they take on the bulk of childcare, parental care, dependant relative care; they’re less bold when asking for pay rises; they rise through the ranks more slowly, often settling at middle manager level. And of course, they’re victims of sexism and unconscious bias.
So, when it comes to tackling that gap, which, in today’s financial climate, could mean the difference between surviving and thriving, there really is no time like the present. And it’s understood that not all organisations have a huge pot of money from which to increase employees’ salary.
The solutions to the question are myriad.
How Weetabix nearly closed its gender pay gap
One organisation taking great strides to close that gap is Weetabix Food Company, which has lowered its GPG from 3.64% in 2021 to 1.86% in 2022.
Stuart Branch, People and Digital Director at the company tells HR Grapevine that not only does the journey not end there, but that the company is committed to all the strands that go into pay gaps – as well as making sure that the men at Weetabix understand how beneficial this journey is for everyone at the company.
We must always remember that the rise of women is not about the fall of men
“We’re proud of this landmark, but there is still a journey to go on to close the gap fully, and for good – and there’s much, much more we can do besides," Branch shares. "There are plenty of difficult conversations that must be had to properly unpack and address gender imbalance.”