Gender Pay Reporting, Gender Bias

19th April 2018

Gender pay gap reporting is a hot topic among UK businesses, but many organisations are still falling behind. This is especially important for larger companies, as the deadline recently passed for UK companies with 250 or more employees to report their gender pay differences.

Many of the responses were disheartening. Eight in 10 companies pay men more than women. On average across the country, women earn 9.8% less than men per hour. For financial firms, the discrepancy is even greater: Barclays, RBS and Lloyd’s banks have all reported that their female employees are paid at least 35% less than male staff.

Even worse, an estimated 1,500 businesses failed to publish their gender pay gaps by the deadline of midnight on 4 April, according to the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC). That’s despite many companies who were not required to report their figures deciding to publish their gender pay gaps anyway.

So how can UK organisations – both large and small – make sure that their gender pay gap figures are balanced and represent an inclusive workforce?

Reducing the gender pay gap through Inclusive Recruitment

Inclusive recruitment is a term used to describe the practice of minimising potential discrimination and demonstrating compliance in providing equality of opportunity to applicants. Inclusive Recruitment is one of the approaches that companies can use to create a more inclusive workplace. Creation of an inclusive workplace can support moves to close the gender pay gap.

However, equality and diversity is not just a form-filling exercise, or an exercise in policy writing but a real business objective that has to be measured. And a creatively implemented inclusion policy can enhance talent pools and optimise returns on investment.

Equally, measuring diversity in the workplace has its place, and it can help businesses recognise areas for improvement, and analyse the success of current policies to bring in diverse talent.

If you’re looking to bring inclusive recruitment best practice into your organisation but are not sure where to begin, there are a range of resources to help get you started.

For example, here’s an overview from our Unconscious Bias course to give you a taster on Inclusive Recruitment, but if you want a complimentary video scenario on unconscious bias in recruitment, please contact us.

You can also take a look at our inclusive recruitment best practices or review these other resources:

  1. Inclusive Recruitment Guide – University of St Andrews
  2. The Inclusive workplace: Recruitment – CGIAR Library
  3. How to Conduct Diverse Recruitment – Business in the Community

Mitigating gender bias

Taking the time to recognise any gender bias in your organisation will support moves to more inclusive recruitment and help change the recruitment culture at your organisation. These steps support inclusion and overtime will help reduce any gender pay gap from recruitment onwards.

Firstly, you need to identify issues around gender bias and then recognise you or your company need to take action. Only once you recognise gender bias is present in your organisation can you then take action to rectify any unfairness in your recruitment behaviours and decision making.

To do this effectively you need support from your organisation to be fair and transparent in decision making around the recruitment process. Otherwise gender bias will continue to influence the decisions that impact on your company’s recruitment practices.

Secondly, there are a range of social and economic questions that you can ask yourself and your organisation that could focus on thinking about different approaches to mitigating gender bias.

Here are a few to get you started:

  1. Do you have gender bias regarding the social and economic standing of people?
  2. How much importance is attached to the way people talk, dress and interact with others?
  3. Do you have biases towards certain genders, either positive or negative?
  4. What impacts do these biases have on the way you make decisions when it comes to recruiting?

Thirdly if there is any evidence of gender bias you need to review and evaluate the reasons for these biases. Moving to inclusive recruitment, implementing a programme of unconscious bias training and becoming an inclusive organisation where everyone is engaged and rewarded fairly for their contribution.

Inclusive recruitment and selection training

Finding the staff who possess the skills and abilities your organisation needs is an essential requirement to meet, and exceed, the expectations of your stakeholders. But modern organisations need to go beyond that, and ensure that gender pay gaps are being reduced, inclusive recruitment best practices are followed and gender bias is mitigated.

Our updated Recruitment and Selection e-learning module provides learners with guidance on key aspects of recruitment and selection, particularly in relation to equality and diversity matters and the strides you can make to eliminate bias.

We have been working in recruitment and selection e-learning since 2008, with organisations like Morrison Supermarkets, Lloyds of London, Ofcom and over twenty UK universities using Marshalls for recruitment elearning.

For more information on our Recruitment and Selection course and for a free demo, please contact us on 0845 123 3909 or email us at


Photo by on Unsplash


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