The gender pay gap – creating a level playing field

Posted by  Lisa Dodman

The gender pay gap is arguably one of the biggest news stories of the year so far. The public disclosure of significant pay differentials between men and their female peers in some high-profile industries and roles has sparked outrage, protest and even resignations. And it’s simple to see why…this video explains it all very clearly.

So personally, I am very happy this is happening.

Another positive development is the publication of pay and reward data from organizations employing over 250 people across the country. The results demonstrate that men are paid more than women in general, although it does not necessarily mean that is the case for ‘the same job done’ per se. As The Guardian puts it: “The gender pay gap is not the same as paying men and women different amounts for doing the same job, which has been illegal since the 1970 Equal Pay Act. But what the figures do show so far is that on average women earn less than men, and far fewer women reach the most senior roles in their firms, which prompts the question: why?”

And this is not just between men and women. I believe this is a matter of equality between, and recognition of, everyone in the workplace regardless of gender, sexuality, race, religion or age. Even though the gender pay gap is not the same as paying unfairly, clearly the playing field is uneven, as society has created biases in all our minds. Indeed, this video demonstrates perfectly how many of us function in this regard.

Looking in the mirror

The tech and IT sector has traditionally been male dominated and that perception still exists today and these survey results indicate that Unit4 behaves on par with our peers in regard to the gender pay gap. But that will never be an excuse for us to not aim to be as diverse as we can, to hire the best people and to promote the right people to the right roles. We were quite early in having women in senior roles and we recognize that we need to do much more and are working on that.

We are open to see our flaws and fix them, people tend to hire ‘people like themselves’ and we are taking measures to change that approach and elevate a more diverse way of thinking. We are unveiling our unconscious biases and taking steps to prevent them from getting in the way. Everyone has them and it is quite normal but we cannot have them stop us from treating everyone fairly. So, we view today’s starting point as an opportunity and a catalyst for improvement.

We believe that the net result of our efforts will be a more diverse and inclusive workforce, and one that will best deliver the results we need for our business, our customer’s business and for the individual employed into each role, regardless of gender, sexuality, race, religion or age of course.

Lisa Dodman

VP HR Northern and Eastern Europe