With annual milestones such as International Women’s Day, Girls in ICT Day and Ada Lovelace Day now featuring as regular diary fixtures, one thing is clear; we are getting much better at celebrating the achievements of women, as well as proactively increasing the profiles of girls and women in underrepresented industries, such as the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) sectors.
In the workplace this is especially significant, because embodying a diverse and inclusive workplace makes for a collaborative environment filled with different ideas and thinking methods; engaging a diverse talent pool is the only way we can hope to safeguard the future competitiveness of the UK economy.
Yet, with the deadline for gender pay gap reporting looming, discussions around gender pay have overshadowed all of the positivity and praise around female empowerment. And rightly so.
Although gender pay reporting is crucial for organisations looking to improve their performance on gender equality, it is concerning that, with less than a month to go, only one-sixth of UK employers have published their figures.
While the responsibility has long been placed on HR personnel, closing the gender pay gap is not a quick fix. The whole businesses needs to be accountable and there needs to be a shift in the mindset of individuals across the business. After all, many heads are better than one.
In fact, because gender pay gap reporting is a critical step in any plans to attract, retain and develop a diverse talent population, there is an opportunity to improve the performance of the entire business, to create a vibrant, nurturing and exciting place to work.
As employees and customers want to hear what their own organisation is doing to address any pay gaps, it is vital employers report this openly and honestly. Indeed, for our employees at Fujitsu, it was really important to know about the organisation’s gender pay gap and the action we were taking on this.
In short, the time is now to take action and close any gender pay gaps.
Sarah Kaiser is diversity and inclusion lead at technology organisation Fujitsu UK and Ireland