Wales’s leading gender equality charity, Chwarae Teg, has urged employers not to hide away from gender pay gap reporting. The charity said that by publishing and reporting gender pay gap figures, businesses will be able to identify where they need to take action in order to create a more equal workforce which can often result in increased productivity and staff retention and reduced sick leave.

Helen Bradley from Chwarae Teg said:

“The gender pay gap for Wales stands at just under 15%, but is as high as 30% in some sectors like ‘Advanced Materials & Manufacturing’ and 28% in ICT. While women make up a lot of the workforce in Wales, they rarely make it to the very top jobs – in 2017 only 6% of chief executives or equivalent of Wales’ top 100 businesses were female. Gender Pay Gap reporting should be a useful tool in enabling businesses to reverse these trends and to become more equal and more diverse. It is an opportunity to look at the structure and culture of an organisation and work to address any issues. It’s an opportunity to understand why women aren’t progressing in the same way as men and to make changes to recruitment processes, culture and working practices so that the business can make the most of the talent and potential of its whole workforce

Chwarae Teg has been working with smaller businesses over a number of years to help them develop and implement strategies to develop a more diverse workforce with our Agile Nation 2 programme which is fully funded by the European Social Fund and Welsh government. We have found that companies who take part in our programmes can reap huge rewards in terms of increased productivity, improved staff retention rates and reduced sickness leave after implementing relatively simple measures which enable female employees to thrive. We now also support larger employers businesses from across Wales who subscribe to our FairPlay Employer service, and help them understand the causes of their gender pay gaps. We work with them to develop individually tailored strategies to reduce and eventually eliminate the gap. Changes to recruitment processes, adopting more modern and flexible working practices, moving from a culture of presenteeism to one based on outcomes and results, and building the skills and confidence of employees all help to significantly narrow the gap. Everybody wins with a more diverse and equal workforce. The environment of the workplace is improved, businesses become more productive and the wider economy benefits from the increased tax take too. It’s estimated that closing the gender pay gap would lead to a £150bn increase to the UK’s GDP and an 8% growth in the Welsh economy.

Chwarae Teg’s message to businesses publishing and reporting their gender pay gap figures this month is for them not to be afraid, and instead to take this opportunity to take stock and to make small but important changes that will make you more productive, more successful and make your workforce happier too!”

For more information on Chwarae Teg’s FairPlay Employer service and how it can help your business to reduce its gender pay gap go to our FairPlay Employer page or contact fairplayemployer@chwaraeteg.com