Progress has been made but challenges will remain until pay gap is closed.
The Autumn Statement 2014 announced that the gender pay gap is at its lowest in history and this is fantastic news. However, until the pay gap is completely closed, employers will continue to experience challenges in the workplace.
This disparity in pay can be damaging. It can undermine a hard-won reputation, provoke tension and conflict and, ultimately, force talented women out of one firm and into the ranks of a competitor. The pay gap is not only extremely unfair — it is bad for business.
Many organisations are already taking action to close the gender pay gap. There are numerous examples of best practice in achieving gender equality, including regular pay audits, salary transparency and improved flexible working.
However, firms must dig deep. The research shows that women most commonly attribute gender inequality in the workplace to an unconscious bias that favours men over women.
This stems from the belief that senior males unconsciously prefer to promote and offer their support in their own image, resulting in women being left behind their male counterparts.
One way organisations can identify unconscious bias is to introduce audits into their performance review and promotion processes.
Employers must ensure that equality in pay, development and leadership training is matched in equality of promotion.
Greet Brosens is group sales director at Adecco Group UK and Ireland.