Today Golin releases its Gender Pay Gap Corporate Risk Research. We wanted to know exactly what organisations could expect when they report their gender pay gap, so we undertook research to reveal the true scale of the reputational risks involved in GPG reporting.
We found 84% of respondents believe the issue will damage the reputation of organisations. The worst hit companies will be those who ‘run and hide’ or fail to acknowledge their problem and put in place steps to remedy it.
Over three quarters (77%) said organisations will likely lose staff over the issues, while 73% believe the worst offenders will find it harder to recruit and 76.5% said they should be ‘named and shamed’ for their gender pay gap.
Putting this into perspective alongside other issues that affect business reputations, over a third (36%) of respondents said they feel the issue is potentially more toxic than corporate tax avoidance.
Concern over the issue was greatest among female respondents with 39% saying they would actually consider leaving if their company reports a problematic gender pay gap.
Golin MD, Bibi Hilton, said: “Organisations shouldn’t hide from this issue, or put it off hoping to get lost in the crowds reporting ahead of the April deadline.
“They should establish what their gap is as soon as possible and ensure they know how and why it has come about. Armed with that information they can plan to put it right and communicated what they are doing, to the public, employees and media. Even if they are starting from a bad place at least they will have something positive to talk about and will be able to show progress.”
“The organisations who will suffer the worst damage to their brand will be those who do nothing and leave people in the dark.”
Sam Smethers, chief executive of the Fawcett Society added, “Knowing the figures is important but it’s just a first step, those who make the greatest progress will develop an evidence based action plan and start to make meaningful changes – from flexible working by default to supporting fathers in the workplace. As well as indicating the earnings gap, the pay gap represents lost productivity, where the skills and potential of women in work are underused. So getting an organisation’s response to pay gap reporting right will be good for women but also for the bottom line. It’s an opportunity no one can afford to miss.”
The survey was commissioned by Golin and carried out by research company Toluna who surveyed 1,002 senior professionals and business decision-makers in the UK.