North East businesses get help to reduce gender pay gap

Author - Jasmin Brown

Date published:

A practical toolkit for employers on how to reduce their gender pay gap has been launched by North East England Chamber of Commerce with support from Home Group, one of the UK’s top four places to work for women*.

All of the toolkit’s help and advice was prepared by the Chamber’s Women’s Leadership Forum (WLF) using the housing provider’s recommendations.

The information aims to encourage businesses to have a fair working environment and salary scheme and also highlights the economic benefits of having a diverse workforce.

Nusheen Hussain, executive director, Business Development, Home Group and Chamber’s WLF member said: “We urge every member of the North East business community to use our toolkit and build fairness into the very essence of their companies and organisations. If we are to recover quickly from the pandemic it is paramount everyone gets a wage that is appropriate to their efforts and all employees are not discriminated against in any way.”

“At Home Group we believe our strong inclusive culture and leadership support has been fundamental to where we are today as an organisation that has embraced equality, diversity and inclusion. But we still have much work to do and continue with focussed attention, passion and effort towards gender parity within the workplace.”

The toolkit offers a simple, step by step guide for businesses to gather pay gap information and tackle discrepancies between male and female employees. They include collecting data and being transparent with it by publishing it on the website and using it to create an action plan for change.

It also recommends prioritising training and mentoring for women to encourage them to go into leadership. In Home Group’s Women into Leadership programme 32% of women on it gained promotion within just six months.

The pay gap advice also suggests examining flexible working policies, in particular to support women with caring responsibilities. It said pay gap work should be cross-cutting with other colleague groups and male allies being on-board with the work would be extremely beneficial.

Recruitment policies are key to encouraging a diverse workforce and Home Group has successfully improved its own record through representing different types of people in advertising, achieving a 7% uplift in diverse candidates applying.

The toolkit includes the advantages of using role models at a senior level who can share a career journey that has included overcoming struggles and how they achieved success.

Nusheen Hussain said: “The important part of narrowing a pay gap is to ensure you stay curious. Keep listening, learning and acting on colleague voices and evolving your approach. Also look externally for broader networks and insights that may help.”

Download the toolkit here

*Best places to work 2020

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