Monitoring Your Gender Pay Gap with Gapsquare’s Dr. Zara Nanu

3rd October 2022

Posted In: In Your Opinion

With the deadline to the comply with gender pay legislation in Ireland quickly approaching, companies with 250 employees or more are having to put in place the necessary tools and processes to meet the requirements.

Words: Dr. Zara Nanu, Gapsquare

Encouragingly, Ireland currently ranks 9th in the world in the WEF’s Global Gender Gap Index, but with a gender pay gap of 14.4%, there is clearly still room to improve. While there are lots of companies who have been ensuring pay equity for many years, there are many which have not. This isn’t to say they don’t want to, but they simply haven’t had the means of tracking it accurately.

Many would argue that the legislation in Ireland is long overdue, and slightly behind other countries who have already been doing this for some time, like the UK and US.

But the new legislation will take Ireland-based businesses to the next level, setting the bar for other countries to follow.

As part of the reporting requirements, not only will companies have to report their gender pay gap, but they must also share an action plan which clearly outlines how they plan to address it.

This is a huge step forward in the global race for gender pay equality. By making companies more accountable, the government is pushing organisations to take action. This is in contrast to the UK, where businesses must report the figures, but they are under no obligation to address how they plan to bridge the gaps.

With the introduction of Gapsquare Comply Ireland, organisations can comfortably meet the legal requirements of the Irish Gender Pay Gap Information Act. The solution helps businesses to comply with gender pay legislation and report pay gap data. The software also empowers businesses to understand, monitor and close pay gaps once reporting requirements are met, and helps to create a data-led action plan to target the right pay gap areas, which will be key for organisations complying with the Irish Gender Pay Gap Information Act.

I founded Gapsquare after hearing that it would take 217 years before the Gender Pay Gap could be closed. At the same time, it was said that by 2030 we’ll be in self-driving cars, and we’d be on our way to Mars.

I recognised that these incredible advancements were possible because of the use of data, AI and tech and to achieve similar leaps in progress for pay disparity and workplace inclusion, there was potential to harness the same innovations to accelerate much needed social change. Our clients are able to take real-time data points and use them to make actionable and measurable changes to their organisation.

But gender pay parity is just a piece of the puzzle and I am on a mission to make changes at a global level. The world’s workplace is changing and the pressure on governments to implement regulation around ethnicity reporting is now gathering momentum and we hope that this will soon be implemented. But it doesn’t stop there. Pay ranges and benefits should value the work of their employees regardless of gender, race, disability or any other characteristic.

The key to creating a fairer workplace environment for all requires an innovative rewiring of the employment system, looking particularly at occupational segregation. Research from the World Economic Forum has shown that jobs in increasing demand that are female dominated only average €32,093[1] per year, while those that are male dominated average over €52,693. What we need is societal change, an innovative rewiring of jobs, coupled with a new approach to reward and compensation.

With so much data available now, today’s employers are smarter, more connected and more proactive than ever before.

With the war for talent, companies must use the wealth of data available to make fairer pay for all a key management issue. Those that don’t will not be able to attract the right people.

The new gender pay gap requirements in Ireland are a huge and vital step forward to building an economically fair future, for all. The new Act is progressive and a best-in-class example to other nations wanting to improve gender equality. It requires businesses to dig deep, ask why the pay gap exists, and share how they will be addressing it.

Inequality does not happen in a vacuum – and by digging deeper and considering it beyond simply a remuneration issue, true and lasting change can be planned and implemented.

Author: Dr. Zara Nanu, MBE, Co-founder and CEO, Gapsquare is an expert on building diverse and inclusive workplaces through data analytics and intelligent tech. As the CEO of Gapsquare from XpertHR, leading provider of gender and fair pay analyses, Zara’s passion for change is supporting employers across the globe to create a fairer world of work.

[1] Based on exchange rate 22/09/2022