Ethnicity Pay Gap Challenge 2022: How Can You Make a Change?

The #EthnicityPayGap campaign was founded over three and half years ago by Dianne Greyson to raise awareness of the Ethnicity Pay Gap and to push for the government to make Ethnicity Pay Gap reporting mandatory. The team here at Spktral have supported her campaign and are delighted to be partnering with Dianne for Ethnicity Pay Gap Day on 8th January 2022.

This year, the Ethnicity Pay Gap Challenge will take place from the 3rd January until the 8th January. The aim of the challenge is to raise awareness of Ethnicity Pay Gap Day and to encourage organisations and individuals to take action and make a positive change. You can find further details of the specific challenges for organisations and individuals at the end of this blog post.

Dianne recommends: “Organisations should be having conversations with their employees  who are affected by the Ethnicity Pay Gap. It is important that the messaging has the voice of the people to help create an effective strategy. Engaging with staff networks would be a positive step forward.

What’s data got to do with it? 

The #EthnicityPayGap site notes that analysing and reporting data is essential when making strides towards a more inclusive workplace – and we couldn’t agree more! We recommend that you analyse your ethnicity pay data and take action on it, rather than just simply report it. Why is this? 

You should focus on people, not numbers.

When organisations address pay gap reporting, there is a lot of emphasis on changing percentages. They typically focus on reducing a single ‘pay gap’ figure. However, this is insufficient when striving for organisational change. A singular percentage may tell you that there is an aggregated gap in your organisation, but it does not explain it or recognise that there can be multiple gaps at different levels concerning different ethnicities. 

Instead, you should look at the representation of, for example, Black or East Asian employees, across the pay range of your organisation. You can compare this to the white employees within your organisation. From this, you will be able to uncover where any potential gaps in representation lie, and you can use this as a starting point for further action. Remember, pay gap analysis provides you with the evidence to begin the work required for meaningful change – it’s not the end of a process, it’s the start.

Pay attention to individual stories

Many organisations also fall into the trap of reporting based on white vs ethnic minorities as a cohesive whole. By doing this, you risk hiding the individual stories that lie beneath your data. For example, Black men could be significantly more underrepresented in the top paying sections of your organisation than White women. Undertaking thorough, intersectional analysis of your data is the only way to reveal these key details. Having the data to uncover your organisation’s representational story is the first step towards organisational change – awareness of a single number doesn’t hold this power. 

“Trust happens when leaders are transparent.”

Jack Welch, former Chairman and CEO of General Electric

To make changes, you have to build trust.

A prerequisite to making changes in your organisation is to collect the data you need to analyse the representation and pay of your diverse talent. However, you are unlikely to hold all of the data you require in your HR system, so you will need to collect the ethnicity data that enables you to prepare the analysis. It is critical to have built trust with your workforce by communicating transparently and openly about why you are collecting this data and what you intend to do with it.

You can’t change the past, so focus on changing the present – and the future.

When considering undertaking Ethnicity Pay Gap analysis, company executives frequently ask questions such as “what happens if we uncover huge pay gaps within the organisation?”. These concerns are certainly understandable, as a company’s reputation may be on the line. However, they should not prevent action. Instead, we recommend that leaders should focus on preparing a strategy and an Action Plan to improve the representation of diverse individuals at all levels within their organisation. 

Make a real commitment – publish your Action Plan.

An Action Plan starts with an explanation of why there are gaps in ethnicity pay in your company, but most importantly, it outlines what you are going to do to address them. By publishing your Action Plan, you show an awareness of what you are doing correctly, and perhaps what you could improve on. It also highlights your commitment to improving equality and diversity within your organisation.

Action Plans can take many forms, and you can tailor them to the specific needs and requirements of your organisation and its employees. For example, your Action Plan may discuss the ways in which you are going to identify and nurture new potential leaders. This way, you can outline how you are going to reshape your organisation by encouraging diverse talent. There are many steps you can take to encourage organisational change. The future of your organisation is in your hands – don’t let a lack of analysis of your data get in the way of ensuring that your organisation is profitable, relevant and ethical. 

Consider getting expert support.

The worrying thing is that Ethnicity Pay Gap reporting is more complex than gender. We recommend considering whether you need expert support to ensure you are approaching this correctly. Focus your energy on your Action Plan in order to drive meaningful change. By doing so, you’ll be sending all the right signals to your current and future talent! To find out more about how we can support your organisation to make better people decisions with your diversity data, get in touch.

Need a reminder of the Ethnicity Pay Gap Challenges?

For a reminder of the challenges that you can undertake throughout the week – and beyond – to encourage effective change, Dianne has put together these helpful graphics:

Don’t forget to share how you are going about completing the challenges throughout the week on your social media – and to tag Dianne and Spktral in your posts. We look forward to seeing how you use this week to encourage effective change within your organisation. 

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