Five steps to help ensure gender pay gap analysis is effective

  1. Develop a robust business case for gender pay parity: It is 'vital' writes the WGEA, that before analysis is undertaken, the business has in place a business case that clearly articulates the benefits of gender pay parity to key stakeholders, as well as to the business as a whole.

  2. Ensure leadership commitment: Commitment from business leaders, both the executive team and the board, is critical to ensuring the success of pay equity objectives writes WGEA. This is particularly relevant, in communicating results of the analysis and maintaining progress and momentum.

  3. Method of data analysis: Tailoring the method of data analysis to the specific requirements of the organisation is also an important factor. WGEA observes that for small organisations (1-99) employees a line by line review of payroll data may be the most appropriate method, whereas for larger organisations, the WGEA pay gap calculator and or the reporting function in the Human Resources Information System in place within an organisation, may be more appropriate.

  4. Communicate the results of the analysis to the leadership team: WGEA observes that though the number of organisations conducting pay gap analyses is growing, the number of organisations reporting the results remains low. 25.6% of organisations communicated results to their executive and 13.9% communicated results to the board, though 37.7% of organisations undertook pay gap analyses. This is the case despite the fact that research has found that actions to address gender pay gaps are three times more effective when combined with reporting to the Executive or Board.

  5. Continuous review of payroll data: WGEA writes that conducting a pay gap analysis needs to be a regular occurrence to be effective, rather than a one-off event to ensure open communication on the issue remains open with the leadership team, and progress on closing the gap is maintained.

The WGEA reminds employers not to leave reporting until the last minute: Separately, the WGEA writes that Australian employers have started reporting their 2017-18 gender equality data for the fifth full year of reporting under the Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012. However, to date, fewer than one fifth of employers expected to report — ie all non-public sector organisations with 100 or more employees — have started their reports. The WGEA has urged employers not to leave reporting until the last minute to avoid potential delays. The deadline for reporting is 31 May.