While organisations are taking steps to address gender disparity, changing entrenched systems, processes and attitudes is a systemic challenge . When it comes to pay, women only earned 91 pence for every pound a man earned in the 2022/23 financial year, and most organisations still have an imbalance in leadership roles.

Unpicking the impact of this historic imbalance, from occupational segregation to undervaluing women’s paid and unpaid work, cannot happen overnight.  But, for organisations to achieve their pledges to create workplaces where people of all genders have access to the same opportunities, it is important to sustain momentum.

Establishing initiatives that create equity in the workplace helps to foster meaningful change, but to be truly effective those responsible must understand the challenges and evoke the right strategies to close the gap in their organisation.

Mind the pay gap: Understanding the challenges

Addressing the disparity has become a top priority for organisations, particularly since 2018 when they were first required to publish their data, but only 34% of women surveyed in Page Personnel’s 2024 Talent Trends report felt satisfied with the progress being made.

Our report revealed an urgent call to rebuild trust and foster greater respect in the workplace, with implications for employee attraction and retention. With 38% of workers identifying closing the gender pay gap as the most important diversity, equity, and inclusion initiative in the workplace, organisations cannot afford to take their feet off the gas.  

Strategies for promoting gender equality

Addressing the gender pay gap is not as simple as it sounds. With multiple factors at play, including part-time work, family responsibilities, and fewer and lower-paid female managers closing the gender pay gap becomes more challenging than ever. Organisations not only have a responsibility to improve pay parity, but also ensure that women have equitable opportunities and the support for career development they need to flourish.

Compensation practices

Implementing transparent and equitable compensation practices is the first step. Tracking compensation once a year when it comes to gender pay gap reporting is not enough. Instead, it’s important to regularly benchmark the salary between different roles and levels, particularly when bonus or salary review season comes around.

Mentorship and visible role models

Having women in senior management or leadership positions gives others something to aspire to and shows that women’s contributions are both critical and valued. This was another area our Talent Trends report found to be important to those in the workplace, cited by a quarter (25%) of respondents. Both internal and external mentoring programmes provide opportunities to learn from women with shared experiences and values, which builds confidence and self-advocacy, making it easier for women to progress into more senior roles.

Related: Supporting self-advocacy and inclusive practices

Inclusive policies

Initiatives like flexitime, hybrid working, and programmes for workplace returners overcome some of the challenges of working while raising a family. Ensuring women can negotiate  the number of hours they would like with flexibility and are supported to jump straight back in and continue their career trajectory after a career break aids faster progression into more senior, better paid positions.  

Learn more about the changing meaning of flexibility

Maintaining momentum

The right proactive measures will help your organisation to identify opportunities for improvement, increasing the pace of improvement.  However, while your organisation may have the right policies in place, it is important to have the right processes and practices in place to track the progress of these to demonstrate success and maintain momentum.

Gathering feedback from individuals affected by your DE&I initiatives is crucial. Of the 26% of respondents dissatisfied with their workplace gender pay gap initiatives, 32% were women.

Our research highlights that those most affected by disparities often feel they're not adequately addressed. And so, actively listening to their feedback demonstrates your organisation's commitment to addressing and overcoming issues such as gender equality, aiding retention and engagement.

Finally, it is critical to hold leaders accountable. Their attitudes towards closing gender pay gaps in the organisation will impact its ability to make progress. The leadership team is responsible for setting pay brackets, signing off new policies and establishing culture, so it is important that the commitment to challenge the disparity faced in the organisation comes from the top.

For more workplace insights, access the 2024 Talent Trends Global and UK reports.

Our team is also here to support your organisation’s hiring needs: request a call back and someone will be in touch.  

Get in touch

Webinars & Events

Access our free webinars and events.

Join or watch on-demand

Are you looking to hire?

Find the right candidate today.

Submit a job spec