To make specific, measurable and actionable goals when looking at equality within your organisation, you must first understand your starting point. Certain reporting will become mandatory, but going beyond this is necessary to obtain meaningful data that will give way to positive change. Our last Supporters Network Webinar was on this topic, and speakers discussed how employers can properly monitor, measure and report on equalities. The key points from the Webinar are summarised below, along with a list of key resources and the full video recording.
Equalities Reporting and Covid-19.
Workplaces have been going under rapid transformation; with new ways of working and modes of communication having been established for the foreseeable future. At a time of such change, keeping equality issues at the forefront of decisions is essential. Workplace inequalities are still important during Covid-19, and the current messaging and decision making of organisations need to reinforce this.
This is particularly important due to the impact of Covid-19 on exacerbating and exposing inequalities. For example, complications with childcare due to the pandemic will result in those with caring responsibilities being particularly at risk of workplace discrimination. Taking this into account when decision making, and bringing greater flexibility into an approach, will ensure that these employees remain supported during difficult times.
Collecting data in the right way.
In a PWC report entitled ‘Taking the Right Approach to Ethnicity Pay Gap Reporting’, it was found that 95% of companies surveyed had not analysed their ethnicity pay gap and that 75% had insufficient data to analyse this. Ensuring that adequate data is collected can be guided by company targets. While some companies may shy away from setting targets in fear of not having the 'perfect formula', targets simply help to track an organisation's progress across different areas of concerns. Whether a target is met, or not met, this result will still give the company valuable information that they otherwise would not have seen, which will help to shape future targets and ensure an organisation is moving forward and remaining ambitious.
Collecting valuable data is an important starting point to identifying where an organisation could improve, to ensure moving forward that these things do not worsen, or remain the same. However, this can be a sensitive process. Employees need to know that supplying their personal information is confidential and that providing it will lead to positive change - rather than discrimination. If there is a low rate of feedback to this request, perhaps the process could be analysed to ensure employees feel supported to disclose this information at another point.
Using the data to create positive change.
Using data to create change is about more than collecting total numbers of those from diverse backgrounds within an organisation. Data should be gained and analysed on multiple levels, for example how many of these employees are in entry-level and low-paid roles? How many were given the opportunities to progress, develop and be promoted through an organisation? Analysing data to this extent is where specific points to create change can be identified.
Not all data will be comfortable for an organisation to share, for example disclosing pay gap reporting. However, accountability is important whilst explaining to employees how, when and in what areas change will be worked towards based on this data. Using these findings as a springboard to have important conversations, establish people’s needs, and create change moving forward, are needed and important actions down the line after collecting feedback.
- Sigrid Fisher, Relationship Manager at Employers Network for Equality and Inclusion
- Megan Smith, Inclusion, Diversity and Social Equality Advisor at KPMG
- Julia Rouse, Head of the Sylvia Pankhurst Gender Research Centre at Manchester Metropolitan University
- Vanda Murray, Diversity Champion at Greater Manchester Local Enterprise Partnership
- PWC: Taking the Right Approach to Ethnicity Pay Gap Reporting report
- North West Business Leadership Team: Rising Stars Lockdown report (North West Female Business Leaders speak of the pressures and challenges of Lockdown, and fears of the long-term impact on gender equality in the workplace)
- Enei: Resources (Articles with guidance on topics such as resilience, productivity, the return to the workplace)
- KPMG: Inclusion, Diversity and Social Equality (Examples of good practice when it comes to Equality and Inclusion in workplace practice)