Fixing the gender gap

The gender pay gap is an on-going battle and a topic of much discussion and debate, with recent research suggesting global leaders believe gender equality in the workplace is an average of 17 years away. The statistics support this view.  Women make up less than 10 percent of executive directors at FTSE 100 companies and are paid less than male counterparts in 90 percent of sectors. In London alone, women earn on average £7000 less than men and receive a bonus less than half that of their male counterparts. In general women also only receive 16 percent of their salary through bonuses compared to 23 percent for men, whilst Insights, our own empirical data, revealed that women on average receive lower commission rates than men – 4.1 percent compared to 4.8 percent. The gender pay gap is an issue that worries me, both as a business leader, and a father of daughters.

Eradicating the gender pay gap should be a priority for every UK organisation, and David Cameron’s announcement last year, requiring transparency of salaries and paid bonuses, is a welcome first step to tackling this challenge on a business front. However, the wider solution is not for businesses, government and all equality stakeholders to adopt the mentality that they need to rush to hire women and appoint them to board positions. Instead, they need to examine why women aren’t in these positions, understand why there is a pay gap and identify what is needed to address it.

By analysing salary and compensation data and plans, and using that insight to reassess and potentially restructure, businesses can ensure that ultimately they place the right people in the right roles. Through having the right tools in place, employee performance can be tracked and analysed, highlighting where gaps in the business may lie and how they can be bridged. An employee’s sales ability can be noticed and rewarded, irrespective of gender. By using smart business applications, businesses can harness this data to gain a far more detailed view of staff across the organisation and use it to draw up sales compensation plans. This allows them to make better decisions and incentivise and reward the right people, regardless of their gender.

With women currently earning  less across all industries, it’s time for every employer to take a holistic look at their compensation model and ensure there are no gender pay gaps. Organisations can benefit from a thorough analysis of their employees salary and compensation , using data insights to develop accurate plans that reward employees fairly, irrespective of gender,  ensuring their workforce is fully enabled to drive the businesses to success. This not only creates a culture of productive employees, but can reduce the gender pay gap, hopefully bringing us closer to workplace equality that bit sooner.

Tom Castley is the Vice President of Xactly EMEA.