Evidence based actions to close the gender pay gap

01 August 2018

The Government has announced that 100% of relevant employers have published their gender pay gap data, under the new regulations that came into force in April 2017.

In order to support employers, the Government Equalities Office (GEO) has published it's 'What Works’ guidance.

The guidance was produced in conjunction with the Behavioural Insights Team and sets out effective actions that employers can take to improve the recruitment and progression of women and close their gender pay gap.

These actions have been tested in real-world settings and found to have a positive impact:

  • Using structured interviews for recruitment and promotions
  • Assessing candidates based on actual tasks they would be expected to perform in their role
  • Shortlists for recruitment and promotions should include multiple women
  • Encouraging salary negotiation by showing salary ranges
  • Introducing transparency to pay, promotion and reward processes
  • Appoint diversity managers and/ or diversity task forces.

These actions are promising and require further research to improve the evidence on their effectiveness and how best to implement them:

  • Improve workplace flexibility for men and women
  • Encourage the uptake of Shared Parental Leave
  • Recruit returners - people who have taken an extended career break
  • Offer mentoring and sponsorship
  • Offer networking programmes
  • Set internal targets.

These actions have mixed results and have been shown to have a positive impact sometimes and at other times a negative impact:

  • Unconscious bias training – a person’s judgement can be bias without them being aware of it
  • Diversity training to help raise awareness
  • Leadership development training
  • Performance self-assessments
  • Diverse selection panels

The GEO's 'What Works’ guidance provides full details and evidence behind all these actions.