The Royal Statistical Society (RSS) and I have published two articles to help employers better calculate and interpret their gender pay gaps. The first article lists 10 recommendations to improve the quality of gender pay gap reporting, the second is an article in Significance magazine which explores in more detail, two of the recommendations concerning medians and quartiles.
I am an active member of the RSS and have worked with them on many issues. When I became concerned about statistical errors being published in the first round of gender pay gap reporting in 2018, I shared my concerns with the RSS using my blog post “My 12 steps to improve public confidence in gender pay gap data“. This led to two collaborations which resulted in these two articles being published. To read them, please click on the relevant heading below.
“10 Recommendations to Improve the Quality of Gender Pay Gap Reporting”
This was published by the RSS in April 2019 and explores ten ways whereby gender pay gap reporting can be made more reliable and more informative. The full document is 10 pages long but the RSS also released a 1-page infographic which summarises the 10 recommendations which I strongly recommend you download and circulate to interested parties.
I expanded on the reasons for these 10 recommendations in a talk at the annual conference of the Royal Statistical Society in Belfast in September 2019. Click here to download my presentation.
In addition, an RSS Ambassador Anthony Masters, took the time to explore how these recommendations could assist the debate over gender pay gaps and resolve some of the confusion often encountered. You can read his thoughts in his Medium article “Gender Pay Gap Reporting & Meaningless Statistics“.
“Gender Pay Gaps – A Median Sized Problem”
This article was published in the August 2019 edition of Significance. In it, I explore in more detail recommendations number 2 & 6 from the RSS’ 10 recommendations above. Recommendation 2 asks for better guidance on how to calculate the relevant statistics including the median and in the article, I explain what a median is and isn’t and why it creates so much confusion. Recommendation 6 asks for the median gender pay gap to be calculate for each “income quartile” and in the article, I explain what a quartile is, why it is a misnomer in this instance and how it has the potential to be much more informative as to why pay gaps exist in this first place.
If you have not heard of Significance before, it is a statistics magazine jointly published by the RSS and the ASA (American Statistical Association) and aims to explain statistical topics to a non-statistical audience. It is intended to be similar to New Scientist or the Economist magazines in the way issues are explained and is published every two months. You can subscribe to it here.
– Need help with interpreting your gender pay gap? –
I offer the following services.
- Analysis – I can dig deep into your data to identify the key drivers of your pay gaps. I can build a model using a large number of variables such as pay band, seniority, job function, location, etc and use this to identify the priority areas for closing your gaps.
- Training – I run training courses in basic statistics which are designed for non-statisticians such as people working in HR. The courses will show you how to perform the relevant calculations in Microsoft Excel, how to interpret what they mean for you and how to incorporate these in an action plan to close your gaps.
- Expert Witness – Has your gender pay gap data uncovered an issue resulting in legal action? Need an expert independent statistician who can testify whether the data supports or contradicts a claim of discrimination? I have experience of acting as an expert witness for either plaintiff or defendant and I know how to testify and explain complex data in simple language that can be easily understood by non-statisticians.
If you would like to have a no-obligation discussion about how I can help you, please do contact me.
– Want to know more about the gender pay gap? –
I have written a number of articles about pay gaps covering these topics:-
- What gender pay gap data tells us, what it doesn’t tell us and how it can be misused
- Three distinct errors that have been made by at least 10% of all organisations when submitting their gender pay gap data
- How to distinguish between a true pay gap and a pay gap that arises naturally due to the laws of chance
- My 12 steps to improve public confidence in gender pay gap data
- My evidence to the Treasury Select Committee on how gender pay gap reporting could be improved
- Calculate your gender pay gap by downloading my free spreadsheet calculator!
- Did the gender pay gap narrow in 2018?
- How to identify unusual year on year changes in gender pay gaps
- How to close your pay gap with DMAIC
- Should the UK introduce Ethnicity Pay Gap reporting?
- Frequently Asked Questions about gender pay gaps.
Finally visit my Twitter thread to see my comments on gender pay gaps in the media. Some notable ones are here.