Is equality in pay achievable?

Is equality in pay achievable? 

It’s such a big question, but should it be? It had to believe that this is still such a topical issue in 2022, huge strides have been made, yet is that enough? (Nope is the answer to that, by the way!)

In the week we saw #nationalequalpayday, a social campaign set each year on the day in the year that women’s pay equals that of their male counterparts of the previous year. This date alters from country to country and alters further when things like race, religious background and disability are factored in. 

It’s true huge strides have been made over recent years, but with many big companies such as HSBC and EasyJet still reporting significant pay gaps for their workforce, it begs the question what more can we do as HR professionals to help ease this gap? 

Is it on us as HR to fix this? No, it’s not just an HR issue and as HR folk don’t make pay decisions, it’s not just down to HR to fix this. However, what we can do is be relentless at keep bringing the conversation to the table and keeping it there. It’s down to every individual to contribute to and work towards a more equal and fairer workplace for everyone.

Here’s some ways HR can address pay inequality in the workplace:

1 – Be transparent with pay – Building trust here is crucial so, the more information that’s available to all, on roles, salary pay grades and so on, the more trust there will be in the workplace.

2 – Keep records of pay changes – The more we know, the more we can do. By keeping records of any discrepancies that appear can trigger early conversations and dispel any issues that may arise.

3 – Conduct audits – Again information is power, by checking on things like pay, length of service, performance etc you can highlight any disparities in pay and look for resolution.

4 – Challenge – It’s up to all of us to ask questions about disparity in pay. There may be good reasons for different salaries but equally, there may not be and it is up to all of us to challenge ‘the way it has always been done’ and to demand a fair and equitable way of doing things for every individual in the workplace.