To close a pay gap you have to do three things:
- Measure where you are today.
- Specify where you want to be in the future.
- Identify the most effective way of getting there.
All 3 steps require the use of statistical thinking and statistical methods. Of course, other skills and processes are also needed but they cannot succeed on their own without the help of statistics
My 1-day training course “Introduction to Pay Gap Analytics” will take you through the different topics you need to master to become better at achieving these 3 things.
If you are attending my course, you will need to have this page open on your browser as you will be given a number of weblinks that refer to posts listed here. Each weblink has a letter denoting a section (list of sections given below) and a number denoting the specific post.
- A – Finding pay gap data in the UK
- B – Understanding pay gap data
- C – Detecting errors in pay gap data
- D – Improving pay gap reporting
- E – Closing your pay gap
- F – Finding pay gap data for other countries
- M – Miscellaneous posts related to pay gaps
- P – Podcasts, Presentations, Interviews & Videos
- T – Tweeting about pay gaps
- V – archiVed material
There may be other posts that I have not linked to in this post. Please visit my Diversity homepage to see a full list of my blog posts relating to pay gaps and diversity issues listed in chronological order.
A. Finding pay gap data in the UK
- Download my spreadsheet with the latest gender pay gap data from over 12,000 employers
- Government Equalities Office portal for all employer pay gap statistics
- ACAS detailed guide to gender pay gap reporting
- Office of National Statistics (ONS) for Gender
- Office of National Statistics (ONS for Ethnicity (note latest data is for 2019)
Section F tells you where to find data for other countries.
B. Understanding pay gap data
You’ve done your pay gap calculations but what do the various numbers mean? What are they telling you and perhaps more importantly, what are they not telling you?
- 7 Ways to misuse gender pay gap data
- The difference between unequal pay and gender pay gaps
- *** archived *** see link V1
- *** archived *** see link V2
- How winning an equal pay case can widen the gender pay gap
- Why Gender Pay Fingerprints are superior to Gender Pay Gaps
- Did the pay gap narrow in 2019 even though half of employers failed to report? and what about 2020?
- Why Novartis UK should have paid attention to a WW2 Bletchley Park codebreaker
- Why ONS reports more negative gender pay gaps & more favourable ethnicity pay gaps
- Why employers should calculate and track Gender Swap Numbers
- Why Ryanair’s Gender Pay Gap Report is my favourite
- Why do female dominated public sector employers have such large gender pay gaps?
C. Detecting errors in pay gap data
In most cases, the relevant calculations will have been undertaken by an HR professional. I know from my 30 years’ experience of working with non-statisticians that even though the calculations may appear to be simple to some people, errors will happen. The links given here tell you how you can spot errors in pay gap data, some of which are relatively simple, others more subtle.
- 1 in 10 employers have submitted incorrect data, are you one of them?
- Life on Mars and why small employer GPG data is so unreliable
- The good, bad & Unilever when looking at year on year trends in GPG
- How to spot an incorrect median gender pay gap (Sorry Cleveland Police!)
- Why the Department for Work & Pensions gender pay gap is not an error even though it looks like one
D. Improving pay gap reporting
The existing gender pay gap reporting process stems from the Equality Act 2010. It is clear to me that whoever drafted that act was not a statistician and as a result, improvements will be needed going forward. Some of these improvements can be implemented by individual employers, others will need to be led by the Government Equalities Office who are the custodians of the relevant legislation.
- My 12 recommendations for improving GPG reporting
- The RSS’s 10 recommendations for improving GPG reporting
- Should the UK introduce Ethnicity Pay Gap reporting
- My evidence to the Treasury Select Committee on improving GPG reporting
- What is the best way to do Ethnicity Pay Gap reporting?
- My 7 recommendations for introducing Ethnicity Pay Gap reporting
- *** this is now weblink B10
- *** this is now weblink B11
- My 7 + 5 recommendations for amending UK pay gap legislation
- How many ethnic categories should an employer report?
- My 9-point briefing note for MPs ahead of Parliament’s debate on ethnicity pay gap reporting
- My thoughts on Parliament’s (House of Commons and House of Lords) debate about ethnicity pay gap reporting
- Why the disability pay gap statistic may be a lie and what you should report instead
E. Closing your pay gap
So you’ve worked out your pay gap but how do you go about identifying the best way to close it? This is why I support the principle of pay gap reporting as it forces employers to test ways of closing their gaps. Over the next few years, I am hoping to learn from employers what works and what doesn’t work. Statistics will play a big role in making this happen and these posts explain how.
- How to close a pay gap using DMAIC
- How to diagnose the causes of your GPG (produced by the Government Equalities Office)
- Why closing a pay gap can take a generation or more unless you play Blackjack
- 10 quick and easy ways to close your gender pay gap!
- How many years will it take to close your pay gap?
- Has Pay Gap Reporting narrowed the UK gender pay gap between 2017 & 2021?
- How the Conservative Party eliminated their gender & ethnicity pay gap over 20 years
- What does Gender Equality mean to you and is the NHS a hindrance to achieving this?
F. Finding pay gap data for other countries
Update 9th September 2021 – this section was created on this date. If you are following a weblink from before this date that starts with F, these links can now be found in section M.
I began researching how other countries measure pay gaps & inequality during the summer of 2021 so you should expect this section to evolve as more countries introduce pay gap reporting.
- A quick overview – This is a summary written by GapSquare. You need to scroll past the 1st section looking at the UK to get to it.
- Australia – This is the Australian government portal for employer level gender pay gap data.
- Ireland – In May 2022, Ireland confirmed that June 2022 would be the 1st snapshot month for employers with 250 or more employees to collect their pay data with a view to reporting by December 2022. Essentially the Irish system is a copy and paster of the UK system but there are some differences. For example, pay gap statistics also need to be reported for part time and temporary employees separately. But overall, Ireland has chosen to repeat many of the mistakes made in the UK system rather than correcting them.
- France – The French system is a horrible bureaucratic mess which is in fact an internal indirect method of measuring of gender pay inequality rather than gender pay gaps. I have no desire to endorse this rubbish and if you want to avoid entering this hellscape, you can taste the horror by comparing and contrasting Easyjet’s UK report and French report instead.
- Iceland – Iceland require employers to audit their pay setting processes every 3 years using an Auditable Management Standard (IST85) which are common in quality management circles. Such audits are very likely to require direct measures of pay inequality using a sample of employees. Whilst little known at present, I can see this becoming more widespread as politicians and the public come to understand that pay gaps and pay inequality are two completely different issues (as explained in link B2 above) that require different methods of reporting.
Update 9th September 2021 – this section was previously section F. If you are following a weblink number given to you prior to this date, any link starting with F now starts with M.
These links cover a wide range of topics related to pay gaps and diversity. Link M5 is a recommended book about statistical thinking.
- When is an all-white employer alright?
- 7 Articles on pay gap trends I wrote for Practical Law magazine
- Do people in the UK know what a gender pay gap is? – This is a survey carried out by YouGov in 2018 which tested people’s understanding of the term “gender pay gap“. It coincided with the publication of the first set of pay gap reports by employers in the UK. It backs up my concerns about public understanding which prompted my article in link B2 above.
- The best format for presenting pay gap statistics – The UK Government Equalities Office (GEO) tested a number of different ways of presenting pay gap information with the general public. The results clearly showed that presenting pay gaps using a “pence in the pound” format was superior to any statistic based on percentages.
- “Conned Again, Watson!” by Colin Bruce – Published in 2002, this is my all time favourite book on statistics. What Colin Bruce does is write Sherlock Holmes stories where Holmes is also a statistician as well as a detective. Some stories are little contrived but Bruce has done a great job of capturing the spirit of Conan Doyle’s books as well as illustrating a wide range of statistical and economic concepts. Indeed chapter 11 involves a payroll problem!
- Disability Confident Voluntary Reporting Scheme – This is a reporting framework in relation to disability that any employer seeking level 3 accreditation under the UK Disability Confident scheme has to comply with. If combined with pay quarter breakdowns it would be a Disability Pay Gap Reporting framework as I envisaged in link D9 above
- How to analyse ethnicity data by the Race Disparity Unit – The RDU published standards on best practice for collecting and analysing ethnicity data. Much of this is highly relevant to ethnicity pay gap analysis. The Royal Statistical Society published this favourable response during the consultation phase.
- “I’m not your inspiration!” by Stella Young – A TED talk by this very funny (& sadly deceased) comedienne looking at attitudes to disability. I relate to this strongly as someone who is deafblind.
P. My Podcasts, Presentations, Interviews & Videos on pay gaps and diversity
Here you can watch me, listen to me or read what I have to say about pay gaps in a public setting. Many of these are already linked in some of the links above.
- June 2019 – My evidence to the Treasury Select Committee on effectiveness of gender pay gap reporting – more information can be found in link D4 above.
- September 2019 – My presentation to the Royal Statistical Society Conference on the 10 recommendations of the RSS to improve pay gap reporting – more information can be found in link D2 above.
- August 2020 – My interview about gender pay gap reporting with Corinne Carr on her Paying for Good podcast channel.
- June 2021 – My presentation about why gender swap numbers are superior in a webinar hosted by the Economic Statistics Working Group – my talk starts 42 mins in and more information can be found in links B11 & D9 above.
- December 2021 – My interview about ethnicity pay gap reporting with Corinne Carr on her Paying for Good podcast channel.
- April 2022 – I‘m quoted in this Times article looking at pay gap trends up to 2021. I expand on this in tweet T8 below.
- October 2022 – My call to my fellow statisticians to help their HR colleagues with their pay gap analysis! This was a webinar hosted by the Busines & Industry Section of the Royal Statistical Society. The link takes you to the slides used.
T. My tweets & LinkedIn posts on pay gaps and diversity
I comment on pay gaps & diversity on my Twitter account and LinkedIn feed. Some notable tweets & posts are listed here.
- My complaint about comments made by the head of the TUC on the 2018 pay gap.
- Some observations on the government’s guidance to producing gender pay gap statistics and the numerous deficiencies in these.
- My comments on why incorrect gender pay gap data is being submitted.
- At last, the BBC publishes a good article on gender pay gaps!
- Why are the French surprised? My comments on why the fine for having too many women was predictable.
- My comments on the 2021 ONS ASHE report on gender pay gaps
- I mark Ethnicity Pay Gap Day 2022 with a long twitter thread and a LinkedIn article to summarise 8 blogs on ethnicity pay gap reporting. I updated these threads in Jan 2023.
- My initial comments on the 5 year trend in gender pay gaps between 2017 & 2021
- My observations on the Conservative Party being a high profile case study for closing ethnicity & gender pay gaps
- My expectations ahead of the 2022 ONS ASHE report on gender pay gaps. The last tweet includes a link to the actual figures for 2022.
- My initial observations on the 2021 ONS Census data by ethnicity for England & Wales.
- More and more employers are reporting their pay gap data early despite some stats appearing to show otherwise.
- I explain why an academic study which claims unequal pay accounts for half of the gender pay gap is misleading.
- On International Women’s Day 2023, I explain in detail how the median gender pay gap statistic is calculated (& on LinkedIn as well)
V. Archived material
I consider these articles to be out of date or superseded by another.
- Was there an improvement in the pay gap in 2018?
- What is the difference between the ONS ASHE figure and the GPG figure?
If you would like to book a training course in Pay Gap Analytics, then please contact me.
For more information about my other training courses in statistics, please visit my Statistical Training homepage.
— Subscribe to my newsletter to receive more articles like this one! —-
If you would like to receive notifications from me of news, articles and offers relating to diversity and pay gaps, please click here to go to my Newsletter Subscription page and tick the Diversity category and other categories that may be of interest to you. You will be able to unsubscribe at anytime.