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As part of our week-long conversation for National Inclusion Week, our policy and influencing manager Catherine Goodall talks about our work to address the gender pay gap – and explores what you can do to support change across the sector.
It’s long been the case that working women are paid less than working men. And despite a large amount of research into the problem, the pace of change has remained slow. Across all sectors in the UK the gender pay gap is substantial, with the median pay for all employees 14.9% less for women than for men.*
NCVO is committed to addressing our organisation’s pay gaps and understands the need to review our approaches equitably and fairly. Although NCVO employs fewer than 250 staff and is therefore not required to publish gender pay gap information, we have chosen to do so, along with our ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation and religion pay gap information.
We do this to demonstrate our commitment to being an employer that recognises the importance of equity and inclusion, and the benefits that having a diverse workforce brings to the organisation.
Over the past few years, NCVO has been working to understand, address, and reduce pay gaps. As a result of our work, for the first time in our 100-year history, our gender pay gap is roughly 0%, or 1% looking at mean earnings. We now have a balance in binary genders across our leadership team, and our third ever female CEO.
But these changes and achievements didn’t happen overnight. They’re the result of decisive and deliberate choices made over many years. While data like this provides useful insights, it’s only part of the picture.
We have much to celebrate, but we recognise equality is not a destination, and there’s still work to do. Although better than average for the sector, our gender pay gap is not consistent across different pay grades. And this is without taking intersectionality – which looks at the ways different forms of discrimination or disadvantage intersect with and compound each other – into consideration.
Any pay gap report or headline figure which splits the population in half will obscure a whole variety of other differences and inequalities. It’s essential we take time to consider these through an intersectional lens, so we can take appropriate action to address them.
We’ll keep working on these areas and be transparent about our progress. Our learnings and progress will determine our actions for the future, and we hope act as inspiration for other organisations looking to level the field.
The picture across the wider sector shows there is work to do. Figures from the Charity Chief Executives Survey 2023 show a persisting imbalance in gender pay among charities and voluntary sector organisations.
Solutions are not instantaneous, and it’s important that we share learnings to support change across the sector. But progress has to start somewhere. So here are three questions you might want to think through to help you on your journey to closing the gender pay gap.
Pick a time frame and explore who works for you and who doesn’t. Identify any gaps and consider where there’s underrepresentation from people, groups, or demographics.
Speak to communities and organisations in those underrepresented areas. Identify what barriers might be in place and develop a plan to remove them. Think about who is coming into (and who is leaving) the organisation and from where. What does the top of your organisation look like and what needs to change to make it more diverse if necessary?
Consider what your website, communications, recruitment processes, and your reputation tells potential candidates about working at your organisation.
Having flexible working policies, including policies that support working parents (especially mothers) getting into work, will help you put the right structure and frameworks in place to enable inclusivity for women.
Do you have benefits to support inclusion? Think about healthcare and childcare options for your staff. Do you provide training and development or coaching opportunities that appeal to a diverse range of people?
If you need any support or advice on addressing the gender pay gap in your organisation, please feel to reach out to our people, culture and inclusion team at email@example.com.
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