Last week, Becky Cund, Head of HR Operations and Sustainable People Projects, took part in the Equality, Diversity & Inclusion in Tomorrow’s World of Work conference, organised by international law firm, Pinsent Masons. The conference, hosted by D&I experts, focused around the current equality and diversity challenges employers are facing including race and ethnicity, neurodiversity, LGBTQ+ inclusion and data collection.
As part of the seminar, Becky presented on industry initiatives for driving progress in diversity data and pay gap reporting and discussed how St. Modwen have made significant progress in D&I over the years, including reducing our gender pay gap by 20% since we began reporting, and the lessons we’ve learnt along the way. Here, Becky gives us a summary of the key ways to collect meaningful diversity data and how to drive progress in pay gap reporting.
Collecting diversity data
- What gets measured, gets monitored (but it’s only useful if the data pool is valid). Setting realistic, tailored targets within every aspect of our business is important to ensure progress. It’s also really important to take into account the industry that the business operates in to understand the reasons and expectations in terms of diversity, which will then help to inform how to progress and the targets to set.
- Make data capturing is easy and natural. We have an 84% declaration rate which we’re really proud of. This is through a combination of capturing information when people join the business, and also working with current employees to explain why we need the data and the benefits of sharing theirs.
- Ensure you have ‘champions’ across the organisation. Having a group of people that can be active allies and support D&I activity is key to success. It needs to be owned by the business, through the business to really implement D&I culture.
Driving progress in gender pay gap reporting
- Making the action plan for the gender pay gap part of our D&I action plan. This shouldn’t be a separate one that’s updated in isolation. By working in partnership with D&I experts at Brooke Graham to gain their insights and advise on the plan we created, we were able to ensure that our plan was in line with where we really needed to get to, was achievable and worked alongside our overall D&I ambitions.
- Ensuring we don’t roll things out until line managers are fully briefed and upskilled in D&I. It’s no good solely having a HR or leadership driven approach. Our D&I awareness training, being offered to all employees, has seen a 20% shift in positive attitudes towards D&I, and a greater understanding of their role in achieving a diverse and inclusive culture at St. Modwen. Realising that the responsibility and ability to influence D&I lies with everyone is so important to translate into a D&I centric workplace.
- Explaining how the Gender Pay Gap is calculated to managers and working groups so that they can help influence it. It isn’t just about paying people equally, it’s about transparency. We pay people equally and always have- we just have substantially more men than women in our business. Transparency is essential, ensuring employees have a real understanding on what gender pay gap reporting is, and answering the questions that are important to them is key.
- Acknowledge that in some sectors (like construction) it a huge challenge, but turning a tanker can be done, it just takes time! Focus on the longer term. For the first time this year, we also published our ethnicity pay gap, which St. Modwen is one of the first businesses in our sector to do. This is one of the steps to create true transparency in our business and one that we hope more businesses in our industry will follow in doing.
In summary, to ensure that the data we capture and the progress we make is meaningful and working towards our ambitions of achieving the National Equality Standard, engaging individuals from across the business is imperative to our success. At St. Modwen, we have a dedicated D&I working group who are an important part of driving our D&I activity, along with various campaigns such as our LGBTQ+ Ally programme and D&I champions which all aim to evoke pride in employees workplace and offer them the chance to be a part of positive change. Active allyship initiatives like this are a brilliant way of making individuals responsible for D&I in a business and have a real impact on a companies D&I culture.
Hear more about the important role D&I plays in business and how to improve D&I awareness in Becky’s recent article, here.
Discover more about our D&I ambitions and the progress St. Modwen is making, here.