With today marking Equal Pay Day, Ingrid Waterfield, a director in KPMG’s People Powered Performance practice (P3), said that while raising awareness of the pay gap between men and women is important, it is the underlying reason behind the gap which needs to be addressed and this is a much wider issue than the size of a monthly pay cheque. Ingrid said:
“In the forty years since the first Equality Act was passed, not enough attention has been given to pay and the wider context within which pay decisions are made. While the glass ceiling may be showing the first signs of cracking, equal earnings remain the elephant in the room – whether this is an office or on a factory floor.
“The fact is that numbers, alone, mean nothing and cannot be compared. They might show who earns what, but this knowledge will do nothing to address the fundamental cultural issues that still need to be tackled. Instead, it is managers who make decisions about pay and promotions who need to be educated to ensure their assessments are free from bias. Better communication on how decisions are made is vital to help employees understand why they are paid what they are. It is also often down to inconsistencies on the part of line managers that leads to discrepancies in pay so it is just as important to ensure decisions are based on pre-agreed criteria, rather than personal relationships, especially where performance related pay decisions are concerned.
“There is no excuse for not being able to control these decisions in today’s technological world. The power of data analytics means these decisions can be monitored, evaluated and brought into line, prior to any final sign off. The end result will be a greater chance that equal pay for an equal day will become the norm.”
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Nahidur Rahman, KPMG Press Office
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KPMG LLP, a UK limited liability partnership, operates from 22 offices across the UK with approximately 11,500 partners and staff. The UK firm recorded a turnover of £1.8 billion in the year ended September 2013. KPMG is a global network of professional firms providing Audit, Tax, and Advisory services. It operates in 155 countries and has 155,000 professionals working in member firms around the world. The independent member firms of the KPMG network are affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative ("KPMG International"), a Swiss entity. Each KPMG firm is a legally distinct and separate entity and describes itself as such.
This article represents the views of the author only, and does not necessarily represent the views or professional advice of KPMG in the UK.