Sheila Flavell is the Chief Operating Officer at FDM Group. In this guest post, Sheila writes about why every employer should report their gender pay gap early.
A culture that supports diversity and inclusion
FDM is a company that likes to be on the front foot and so we took the decision to be an early adopter of the government’s gender pay gap reporting. It was the easiest decision I’ve made all year and when I put it to the board they supported the move without hesitation or delay.
As a company, we take pride, and I personally take pride, in making a positive contribution to the industry by encouraging and promoting diversity in the workplace – because it is not just the ‘right’ thing to do, it’s the ‘smart’ thing to do.
When my husband, Rod Flavell, started FDM 26 years ago, he wanted to hire talented people and wasn’t concerned about their gender, ethnicity or social background. He believed that if you find talent, diversity will follow. We have created a culture which fully supports diversity and inclusion, led from the very top and embraced by all. And it is the difference that makes us stronger.
The importance of diversity for the bottom line
Executives must understand that their companies can’t be successful on a global platform if they don’t have a diverse and inclusive workforce. This is necessary to drive innovation, foster creativity, and guide business strategies.
Being diverse means you have the benefit of an increased talent pool to recruit from. If you have a narrow recruitment focus you may miss out on some of the best talent available.
This is really important for the UK Economy – McKinsey estimates that bridging the gender gap in work could add £150 billion to GDP by 2025.
Know your gap to close your gap
For a diversity/inclusion plan to have real meaning there needs to be accountability and oversight. We were curious to understand how we fared and to then look at what we need to do to further close the gap.
In developing a culture that supports diversity, social mobility and inclusion, we have learned that if you measure and monitor, you can take proactive steps to understand where the issues lie and devise strategies to develop a culture that supports and improves gender parity.
Talking about these issues, being transparent, measuring, monitoring and learning from each other is vital if we are going to close the gender pay gap.
Positive reaction to reporting our gap
We reported early in May this year and have an average gender pay gap of 6% and a median pay gap of 0% against a national average of 18.1%.
Reaction to the results has been positive from our investors, clients, employees and other companies too. The reporting process has given us the opportunity to further demonstrate our commitment to our company values.
We truly believe gender pay gap reporting is a positive step forward towards gender equality in the workplace and would encourage all employers to report early and start taking steps to close their gap.