Business inequality, gender gap vector concept with man at advantage. Symbol of discrimination, different opportunity, unequal treatment. salary. Eps10 illustration.

Why data is essential in driving true workplace and pay equity 

Business inequality, gender gap vector concept with man at advantage. Symbol of discrimination, different opportunity, unequal treatment. salary. Eps10 illustration.

Article by Ritu Mohanka, Managing Director of EMEA at Syndio

Despite commitments from tech companies of all stripes to provide equity for their employees, efforts to close the gender pay gap have stalled.

A report conducted by TechNation found that women still earn only up to 28% less than their male counterparts. What’s more, despite the reintroduction of mandatory pay-gap reporting for companies with 250 or more employees, government data indicates that hundreds of companies still fail to even report their pay gaps. It’s clear that more needs to be done to educate companies about the need to tackle this problem and the peril for those willing to stand by and watch. Fortunately, for companies who want to tackle their gaps but don’t know where to begin, there are tools available to simplify and solve this increasingly prevalent problem. HR data or ‘people analytics’ is one of the fastest growing trends in the HR sector and more and more companies are discovering the powerful potential of technology to pinpoint pay inequities and monitor progress over time (instead of just a one-off analysis) so companies can build lasting solutions and have a more proactive approach to it, rather than reactive.

So how can data help drive real pay equity? 

For starters, every company with over 250 employees already has the data they need to begin closing their pay gaps and drive lasting change. At Syndio, we’ve helped over 200 companies harness their data to  close pay and opportunity gaps, mitigate legal risk, and turn DE&I goals into tangible results. In 2021 alone, we helped our clients return $115 million dollars to workers to close pay gaps. By using data and software that can provide instant feedback as a guiding light, companies can make more informed decisions and garner a genuine impact on the integrity of their plans to create workplace equity. Too often, let the fear of ‘imperfect’ data and existent gaps prevent them from pursuing pay equity. In our experience, employees don’t expect perfection, but they do expect progress.

Accountability

The lack of responses to the recent pay gap reporting deadline set by the UK Government suggests an element of fear we see often. The fears are understandable: investors and regulators increasingly baulk at pay gaps and many employees will no longer accept working for a company that does not take equity seriously. But the truth is, avoiding pay equity issues now will only lead to bigger problems later on, and the expectation, shared by all stakeholders, is that companies take real efforts to close their gaps – not pretend they don’t exist.  Employee complaints, damaged brand reputation, difficulties hiring and retaining top talent, and further scrutiny from boards and investors will only increase the longer you wait to take action. On top of that, employees are taking matters into their own hands and sharing salaries among themselves. When it comes to your company’s pay practices, there’s no longer anywhere to hide.

Thus, avoiding pay equity issues now will only lead to bigger problems later on, which can come in the form of employee complaints, discrimination law suits, damaged brand reputation, difficulties hiring and retaining top talent, and increased scrutiny from boards and investors.It boils down to this: managerial decisions should be backed by data. While managers still have discretion,  using data breeds confidence and serves as a check against conscious and unconscious bias. Holistically, it drives evidence-based conversations around equality that will reassure employees that their workplace is accountable.

So, if your company is on the fence about reporting or just getting started – remember, the first step is always the hardest, you have the information you need to make real progress, and you’re not alone. It is a journey of progress, not instant perfection — and one thing we know for sure is that “one size doesn’t fit all.” Wherever your company is in your pay equity journey, Syndio will meet you where you are to determine the best approach.

About the author

Ritu MohankaRitu Mohanka is Syndio’s Managing Director and Head of its EMEA business. Ritu is passionate about making workplaces more diverse, inclusive and fair. Mohanka joins Syndio with over 20 years’ experience in senior leadership roles with HR and talent-focused businesses, including leading business development and strategic growth efforts in EMEA at Glint (now LinkedIn). Prior to Glint, Mohanka worked at Kenexa/IBM Smarter Workforce to drive rapid revenue growth across the EMEA region. At both of these leading Talent and Employee Engagement players, Mohanka was instrumental in driving rapid growth across EMEA, deepening existing markets and expanding into new markets. Mohanka is the winner of multiple awards and has been recognised on the EMpower Top 100 Ethnic Minority Senior Executive lists on several occasions.