The pay gap and internal communication | S5 E6

First published: 27 February, 2024

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Engaging Internal Comms Series 5
Engaging Internal Comms Series 5
The pay gap and internal communication | S5 E6

Bridging the Pay Gap: A Deep Dive into Equity, Engagement, and Communication

As the host of a podcast dedicated to the intricacies of employee engagement and internal communications, I recently had the privilege of leading a thought-provoking discussion on a topic that’s critical to any organisation: the pay gap. In this blog post, I’m excited to share the insights and strategies discussed in my conversation with Michelle Gyimah, a renowned pay gap strategist, and how they can transform the way organisations approach this complex issue.

Understanding the Pay Gap: A Legislative and Strategic Overview

The journey into the pay gap landscape began with Michelle sharing her transition from working on equality and human rights in the UK to becoming a sought-after pay gap consultant. She illuminated the legislative backdrop of pay gap reporting in the UK, a move aimed at shining a light on disparities within organisations and prompting action to address them.

But what does this mean for employee decision-making? Michelle stressed the importance of not just presenting the data but also providing a narrative that gives context to the numbers. This approach helps employees understand the bigger picture and the organisation’s commitment to fairness and equality.

The Challenges and Approaches to Pay Gap Issues

Addressing pay gaps isn’t a one-size-fits-all endeavour. Organisations vary in their strategies, from meeting the bare minimum of reporting requirements to proactively initiating conversations and developing action plans to tackle the issue head-on. Throughout our conversation, Michelle offered a window into the complexities of addressing pay gaps and the diverse tactics organisations employ to navigate these challenges.

One of the key takeaways from our discussion was the profound impact of pay gap reporting on employee engagement. Regular internal dialogues about pay and progression are not just beneficial but necessary. They foster a culture of transparency and trust, which, in turn, bolsters overall employee engagement.

Going Beyond Compliance: Embedding Pay Gap Conversations into Organisational Culture

Michelle’s expertise shone as she delved into the nuances of pay gap reporting. She emphasised the critical need to understand the purpose behind these reports—identifying and addressing the root causes of pay disparities, rather than merely focusing on the figures.

A standout point was the importance of broadening the conversation around pay gaps throughout the year and involving a variety of internal stakeholders. This isn’t just a once-a-year report; it’s an ongoing dialogue that should be woven into the fabric of an organisation’s culture.

Practical Tips for Addressing Pay Gaps

Michelle didn’t just offer theory; she provided actionable advice for organisations looking to tackle pay gap issues effectively. She recommended getting pay gap data verified to ensure accuracy and credibility, assembling a cross-functional team to bring diverse perspectives to the table, and utilising employee resource groups to amplify support and messaging.

Transparency and accountability were highlighted as cornerstones of effective communication about an organisation’s efforts to address pay gaps. By openly sharing actions and progress, organisations can build trust and demonstrate their commitment to equity.

Continuous Communication: The Heart of Employee Engagement

Drawing parallels with the principles of employee engagement, we discussed the significance of continuous communication around pay gap issues. Just as employee engagement thrives on regular, meaningful interactions, so does the conversation around pay gaps.

Beyond the Podcast: Additional Resources

As our conversation drew to a close, I expressed my gratitude to Michelle for her invaluable insights. For those eager to explore this topic further, I recommended Michelle’s podcast, “Beyond the Pay Gap Figure,” and her LinkedIn course, both excellent resources for deepening your understanding of pay gap complexities and strategies (see links below).

Closing the Gap

The dialogue with Michelle Gyimah was more than just an exchange of ideas; it was a roadmap for organisations committed to fostering equity and engagement through strategic communication and action. The pay gap is a multifaceted issue, but with the right approach, it’s one that can be addressed effectively, to the benefit of all employees.

In conclusion, the insights from this podcast episode underscore the critical role of internal communications in bridging the pay gap. By embracing transparency, fostering regular dialogue, and implementing strategic actions, organisations can not only comply with legislative requirements but also drive meaningful change towards workplace equality.

Guest profile

Michelle Gyimah is a Pay Gaps Strategist. She specialises in supporting HR Directors to close their pay gaps sustainably. One of the key aspects of Michelle’s work with organisations is to provide training on how to hold better pay and progression conversations. This is an essential tool to closing pay gaps.

LinkedIn profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/michellegyimah/

Other useful links:

Michelle’s Podcast: https://pod.link/1601188183

Michelle’s LinkedIn course: https://www.linkedin.com/learning/inclusive-tech-closing-the-pay-gap/closing-pay-gaps-in-the-technology-sector-actions-that-work

Episode links

Link to a relevant episode of the podcast: https://thebigpicturepeople.co.uk/blog/podcast/aligning-leadership-and-action-s3-e17/

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